Tuesday 6 December 2016

Great tragedy for family steeped in sport and history

Published 04/06/2015 | 02:30

Mouse Morris, jockey Conor O’Dwyer and owners Anita and Michael O’Leary with the Gold Cup after War Of Attrition won the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup in 2006.
Mouse Morris, jockey Conor O’Dwyer and owners Anita and Michael O’Leary with the Gold Cup after War Of Attrition won the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup in 2006.

His ancestors fought and died in wars from the 13th to the 20th century, so it is a family tragedy that 30-year-old chef and adventurer Christopher Morris should die of what is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning while travelling in Argentina.

  • Go To

Descended from the distinguished Morris family of Galway, one of the 14 'tribes' who ruled the city in medieval times, Christopher was the second son of horse trainer Michael 'Mouse' Morris and his wife Susanna.

He was a nephew of Michael's twin brother, the photographer Johnny Morris, and his wife, the painter and television personality Thelma Mansfield.

He was also a grandson of the third Lord Killanin, a journalist, author and the sixth President of the International Olympic Council (IOC).

He came from a family steeped in history, distinguished service and sport.

The family roots go back to the 1400s when they were one of the distinguished Gaelic Catholic families of Galway.

Successive members of the family were mayors of the city over the generations and were married into the Fitzpatricks of Aran.

An ancestor, Andrew Morris, defended Galway against Cromwell and was one of the few who refused to sign the 'order of capitulation' before the surrender.

Michael Morris, who had been Lord Chief Justice of Ireland was created Baron Morris of Spiddal in 1885 and became Lord Killanin in 1900.

Michael Morris, the third Lord Killanin, was born in London and succeeded to the title at the age of 13, in 1927. He was a distinguished Fleet Street journalist. He married Sheila Cathcart Dunlop of Oughterard, Co Galway, whose grandfather was responsible for the building of Landsdowne Road rugby stadium.

He fought in the British Army during World War II and took part in D-Day. He was elected to the Olympic Council of Ireland in 1950 having moved to his ancestral home in Galway. He went on to become President of the international organisation after the 1972 Olympics. He was a founder member of An Taisce and also Chairman of the Galway Race Committee from 1970 to 1985. Lord and Lady Killanin had three sons and one daughter - George Redmond 'Red' Morris, the present Lord Killanin, who is a film-maker, a daughter Monica, Michael 'Mouse' Morris, a horse trainer in Fethard, Co Tipperary, and his twin brother Johnny Morris.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News