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Sunday, 17 November 2013

17 November 1890: A divorce court found that Mrs. Katherine O'Shea [above] had committed adultery with Charles Stuart Parnell - custody of her children was awarded to her husband Capitan William O’Shea. Mrs O’Shea however was not to remain Parnell’s wife for long as he died in the following year. Upon his death she lived in relative obscurity and died in England in 1921. She published an account of her life with Parnell in 1914 but her affair with the Irish Leader was frowned upon in polite Society and it was only after she died that her name was somewhat vindicated.
Her affair with Parnell, the Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and one of the most formidable politicians of his age, was a huge scandal that wrecked the Party he led. The blow to his reputation was one from which he never recovered and he died a broken man.