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John Deasy (1856 – 24 February 1896)[1] was an Irish nationalist politician whose career ended in scandal after nine years as a Member of Parliament (MP).


Political career

He was first elected to the United Kingdom House of Commons as a Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) MP for Cork City, taking the seat at a by-election on 23 February 1884 after the resignation of John Daly.[2]

At the 1885 general election he stood in the new West Mayo constituency, winning the seat by an overwhelming majority (of 4790 to 131 votes) over his sole opponent, a candidate of the Irish Conservative Party.[3] He was re-elected unopposed in 1886, and after joining the Anti-Parnellite Irish National Federation when the IPP split 1891, he was returned as an Anti-Parnellite with a huge majority at the 1892 general election.[3]


Deasy's career ended in scandal. In July 1893, he was tried at the London County Sessions, on a charge of indecent assault against Ellen Lewis, a teenage servant employed at his London lodgings in 75, Warwick-street. Lewis testified that Deasy had pulled her onto the bed and tried to kiss her, but was interrupted by her employer, Mrs Kate Edith Postlethwaite (the landlady, who also gave evidence). Deasy told the court that Lewis had tripped and fallen onto the bed, and that he was helping her get up, but had offered to kiss her. Evidence of Deasy's character was offered by two MPs (Sir Thomas Grattan Esmonde and Justin McCarthy), and by Sir George Penrose, the former High Sheriff and Lord Mayor of Cork. The jury found Deasy not guilty of indecent assault, but guilty of common assault. He was ordered to pay a fine of £25 and costs.[4]

On 17 July 1893, a few days after the completion of his trial, Deasy resigned his seat by becoming Steward of the Manor of Northstead.[5] He died of tuberculosis in February 1896, aged only 39.[4]


  1. ^ "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "C", part 5". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 04 December 2009.  
  2. ^ Brian M. Walker, ed (1978). Parliamentary election results in Ireland 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. p. 129. ISBN 0 901714 12 7.  
  3. ^ a b Walker, op. cit. page 366
  4. ^ a b "House of Commons constituencies beginning with "M", part 2". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 04 December 2009.  
  5. ^ Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850". House of Commons Library. Retrieved 23 June 2009.  

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Daly
Charles Stewart Parnell
Member of Parliament for Cork City
1884 – 1885
With: Charles Stewart Parnell
Succeeded by
Maurice Healy
Charles Stewart Parnell
New constituency Member of Parliament for West Mayo
1885 – 1893
Succeeded by
Robert Ambrose


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