John Dillon MP, born in Dublin in 1851, was the son of the famous Young Irelander John Blake Dillon (1814–1866) who, along with George Gavan Duffy and Thomas Davis, founded the Nation newspaper, and took part in the 1848 uprising.
Educated at the old Catholic University, John Dillon later studied medicine and qualified as a licentiate of the Irish College of Surgeons.
However the pull of politics drew him in. In 1874, he supported John Mitchel when he contested for a seat in Tipperary. Later, he became involved with the Land League and, in 1880, he accompanied Charles Stewart Parnell on his historic visit to America, and was with him when he addressed Congress.
Arrested and imprisoned during the Plan of Campaign, Dillon, who was first elected to the Westminster seat for East Mayo in 1885, sided with the anti-Parnellite wing during the dispute that split and almost ruined the Irish Party in the 1890s. However, once John Redmond was elected as chairman of a re-united party in 1900, Mr Dillon threw his support wholeheartedly behind him.
Eighteen years later, John Dillon, MP for East Mayo, was unanimously elected to replace the late John Redmond as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party on Dublin, 13 March 1918.
‘‘Courage has never been lacking in him at any crisis, but it may be questioned whether he has ever shown greater courage than in thus facing the duties and responsibilities of the Irish leadership at the present moment."[Freeman’s Journal ]
He died in a London nursing home at the age of 76, on 4 August 1927, and was buried four days later in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. There is a street named after him in Dublin's Liberties, beside the old Iveagh Market.
|Date of Birth||1851|
|Date of Death||1927|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Adelaide Hart|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||John Blake Dillon (1814-1866) of Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon|
|Townland born||Blackrock, Co. Dublin||VIEW SOURCE|
|Place & Date of Baptism|
|Names of Siblings||Rosalie Blake Dillon, John Blake Dillon, Thomas Francis Blake Dillon, Henry Dillon, Charles Blake Dillon, Christina Blake Dillon|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||m. 1895 Elizabeth Mathew (1865–1907) daughter of Lord Justice Sir James Matthew and Lady Elizabeth|
|Number of Children||6|
|Names of Children||James Mathew Dillon (1902–1986), a prominent Irish politician and leader of the Irish Centre Party and of Fine Gael (1957–1966) also Minister for Agriculture.|
|Occupation||Medical Surgeon | MP for Co. Mayo | Leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party|
|Place of Death||London, England | Interred at Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin|