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Open Response to Sean Murphy by The MacCarthy Mór.


A public statement by the MacCarthy Mór
July 10th, 1999


By today's post Mr. Gerard Crotty, Heraldic Advisor to the Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains forwarded an unopened letter addressed to me care of his address!  The letter in questionis dated May 21st, 1999 and is from one Mr. Sean Murphy, a commercial genealogist based in County Wicklow.  According to a handwritten note the letter was also addressed to me in "Tangier, Kingdom of Morocco" (sic!).

In the body of his letter Mr. Murphy states that it has been brought to his attention "by several sources that a rival claim" to my title has been made.  It would be interesting to learn the names of those sources as the claim in question was supposedly known only to me, Mr. Barry Trant McCarthy, our respective solicitors, and the Chief Herald of Ireland.  Certainly neither I nor mysolicitor had any interest in 'leaking' details concerning this issue.

Mr. Murphy states that his "chief interest" in contacting me is "genealogical truth and [that his]investigation of the title can only aid the claimant with most right on his side."  He concludes byposing several questions relating to my genealogy, but none at all relating to the dynastic laws of succession which govern the descent of my title.

I am frankly surprised that Mr. Murphy should have believed that a letter addressed to me with no more sufficient superscription than 'The MacCarthy Mór, Tangier, Kingdom of Morocco' would have reached me in a North African city with a population of 500,000!  Furthermore he might well have been expected to appreciate that letters between Ireland and Morocco frequently take as long as two weeks to be delivered.  At best, therefore, I might have received his letter on or about June5th had it been properly addressed (in fact no such letter was received by me in Tangier).  Had I done so, my reply, even if the papers he wished to access were immediately at hand, could not have reached him before June 19th.  But, perhaps a week or more prior to that date, he had already determined, without sight of any proofs which I might offer, what his 'position' on my title was, and submitted his 'report' on my ancestry to a Sunday Times journalist who cited it in an article published on June 20th.

I might also observe that in forwarding a copy of his letter of May 21st to me care of Mr. Gerard Crotty he did not mark it "URGENT," or in any way denote that it should be forwarded to me at once.  As Heraldic Advisor to The Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains, the earliest opportunity on which Mr. Crotty could have delivered Mr. Murphy's letter to me was June 26th, almost a week after the publication of the Sunday Times article.  As I was unable to attend that meeting, Mr. Murphy's letter did not, in fact, reach me until today.

If Mr. Murphy had been really interested in "genealogical truth" he might well have been expected to await my reply before so willingly contributing to an article attacking my good name and character, that of my deceased brother, and other members of my family.  Why he did not do so I leave for others to judge.  The publication of the newspaper article in question was clearly designed to prejudice public opinion and to put the maximum pressure on the Chief Herald of Ireland to find in favour of the claims of Mr. Barry Trant McCarthy.  As such it contravened basis notations of fair play and, if one accepts that the Chief Herald is, in any sense, a 'Judge', flaunted the principle of no comment whilst proceedings are sub judice.

Certainly I have no intention of justifying my claims to this gentleman whose behaviour has been so very singular.

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The MacCarthy Mór

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