John Tracy (1876-1936) Solicitor, Politician and Coroner



He was admitted a solicitor in 1897 and was one of the best known member of the legal profession in Northern Ireland. He was a Nationalist member of Derry Corporation from 1903 to 1915. He had been the City Coroner for Derry for the last fifteen years. A practical farmer, he figured in recent years as one of the most successful cattle breeders in Donegal, where his father, who preceded him a few months ago, was for many years a prominent agriculturist. He was chairman of the board of directors of the "Derry Journal" Limited. He was unmarried. He died at his residence, Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal on the 10th June 1936. The Most Rev. Dr. McNeely, Bishop of Raphoe, many representatives of the legal profession, and a large attendance of the general public attended the requiem mass in the All Saints Church, Newtowncunningham. Burial took place in the graveyard near the church.



Jun 13, 1936 Irish Times

Jun 20, 1936 Irish Times




1876 Landowners in Ireland (over 1 acre)

John Tracy, Newtownconningham, Donegal. 34a/2r/12p. £46.5.0


18 February 1890 Freeman's Journal

...John Tracy, of Netowncunningham in Donegal, in respect to income upon property, but was discharged on evidence that the ownership was esotinr Mr. Tracy; ...


Civil Service Evidence of Age

Minnie Treacy, b. 1882, Donegal, Ireland

2 June 1908 London Gazette

Prison Service, Ireland: Assistant Matron, Minnie Treacy

1909 (326) Government Departments (Ireland).- General Prison Board

Minnie Treacy, 27 years, 1 year 2 months service, Assistant Matron [Cork?]


September 1889 Student Medals

Junior Grade...Third Class Prizes (in books)...Jeanie Tracy, Newtowncunningham, Londonderry...


John Tracy & Mary Jane Horgan

An Jane Tracy b. 12 Sep 1873 Sp. Michael Martin P.P. & Jane Horgan All Saints Parish (Ann Jane Tracey b. 9 September 1873 LDS)

John Tracy/Tracey & Mary Jane Horgan/Hargan

John b. 8 August 1874 (LDS)

Mary b. 11 December 1875 (LDS)


1901 Census

John Tracy, 46, M, 10 Raphoe North (Barony), Newtowncunningham, Donegal, Farmer and Publican, Roman Catholic, Head of Family, Married, Co Fermanagh

Mary Jane Tracy, 45, F, Raphoe North (Barony), Newtowncunningham, Donegal, Roman Catholic, Wife, Married, Co Fermanagh

Jennie Tracy, 26, F, Raphoe North (Barony), Newtowncunningham, Donegal, Roman Catholic, Daughter, Not Married, Co Donegal

John Tracy, 25, M, Raphoe North (Barony), Newtowncunningham, Donegal, Solicitor, Roman Catholic, Son, Not Married, Co Donegal

Mary Tracy, 23, F, Raphoe North (Barony), Newtowncunningham, Donegal, Roman Catholic, Daughter, Not Married, Co Donegal


1911 Census

John Tracy, 60, M, 11 Newtown Cunningham Town, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal (Farmer & Merchant, b. Fermanagh)

Mary Jane Tracy, 58, F, Newtown Cunningham Town, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal (married 40 years, 3 children, b. Fermanagh)

John Tracy, 35, M, Newtown Cunningham Town, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal (Single, Solicitor)

Jennie Tracy, 34, F, Newtown Cunningham Town, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal (Single)

Minnie Tracy, 34, F, Newtown Cunningham Town, Newtown Cunningham, Donegal (Single)


Tracy (Newtowncunningham) April 14, 1925 at Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal, Mrs. Mary J. Tracy. R.I.P. Funeral tomorrow (Thursday) at 11 o'clock, for Requiem Mass. Interment afterwards.


September 1929 - Miss Jennie Tracy, whose death took place yesterday [27th] at her residence, Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal, was a sister of Mr. John Tracy, City Coroner, Derry. She was highly esteemed and popular in the district, and for years identified herself with every charitable project. She was a lady of much culture, and a gifted musician.


John Tracy of Newtowncunningham county Donegal solicitor died 10 June 1936 Probate Belfast 18 June to Mary Tracy spinster.  Effects £3523 13s. 11d.


Newtowncunningham Graveyard

Anthony Duffy died February 1872

Jane Duffy died February 1848 aged 70

Anthony Duffy died May 1847 aged 74

Ann Duffy died August 1872

Mary Duffy died March 1872

Mary Jane Tracy died April 1925 aged 71

John Tracy died March 1936

his daughter Jennie Tracy died September 1929

his son John Tracy, solicitor, died 19 June 1936



Newspaper and Other References


1890 Hansard Parliamentary Debates


HC Deb 17 February 1890 vol 341 cc426-7 426

§ MR. ARTHUR O'CONNOR (Donegal, E.)

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that a warrant was lately issued by the surveyor of Income Tax at Londonderry against Mr. John Tracy, of Newtown Cunningham, in Donegal, in respect of Income Tax upon property, but was discharged on evidence that the ownership was not in Mr. Tracy; whether it is a fact that during the discussion the Surveyor asked Mr. Tracy, "Why did you get your name in for a vote on another person's property;" and if he will explain how an electoral franchise concerns the Surveyor of Taxes as such?


An assesment having been made on Mr. Tracy in respect of a holding for which he was rated as owner and occupier, Mr. Tracy explained that he was not the owner. The Surveyor of Income Tax then asked Mr. Tracy whether he was rated for the purposes of obtaining a vote, in order to 427 as certain how his name appeared in the Rate Book when the property was not this,


June 1897 Incorporated Law Society of Ireland

Final examination of Apprentices...John Tracy, junior...


July 1897 New Solicitors

On Wednesday, 29th inst, before the Right Honourable the Master of the Rolls, Mr. John Tracy, son of Mr. John Tracy, Newtowncunningham, County Donegal, was admitted a solicitor of her Majestry's Supreme Court of Judicature in Ireland. Mr. Tracy served his apprenticeship with Mr. James Toland, solicitor, Londonderry, and intends practising in that city.

30 July 1897 Freeman's Journal

...Mr John Tracy son of Mr John Tracy, Newtowncunningham, county Donegal, was admitted a solicitor, of her Majesty's Supreme Court of ...


Jan 16, 1903 (IT) Londonderry

...In the West Ward the candidates were William M'Cool and W.J. M'Nulty (retiring Councillors and League nominees) and John Tracy (Independent Nationalist). Tracy headed the poll, receiving 462 against 417 for M'Cool and 365 for M'Nulty.


Jun 14, 1905 (IT) North Donegal Coronership

...appoint a coroner for North Donegal...five candidates...Mr. John Tracy, solicitor, Londonderry...


1905 Kelly's Directory

John Tracy, jun. 'Newtowncunningham, Londonderry


1907 Ulster Street Directory


John Tracy, solicitor, Northern Bank Buildings, Shipquay Place


Oct 10, 1910 (IT) Amusing Incident in a revision Court

Londonderry...Mr. John Tracy, who appeared for the Nationalists, said there were about 200 witnesses in Court who had not yet beeb examined in reference to their claims to the franchise. He handed in a list of the names of these witnesses, and he applied to His Honor to hear them...Mr. Maxwell said he could not comply with Mr. Tracy's application...


1910 Belfast and Ulster Towns Directory


John Tracy, solicitor, Custom house street


1913 Telephone Directory

Londonderry 4y: John Tracy, Solicitor, Northern Bank Buildings


12 December 1914 (FJ) 350 National Volunteers join from Belfast & Derry.

Send-off from Dublin [to Fermoy]...Mr. John Treacey, accompanied the [250] Volunteers from Derry. Practically all the Volunteers in Derry who have enlisted are members of the A.O.H.

Jan 9, 1915 (SS)

Over 75 men of the Derry Irish National Volunteers...for Fermoy [training encampment]...Mr. John Tracy, solicitor to see the men off...


1918 Post Office Dublin Directory and Calendar

John Tracy, Solicitor, 1 College-street; and Londonderry, (T. 1897)


July 1920 - By 20 to 17 for Mr. J.P. Thompson, J.P., deputy coroner, Derry Corporation appointed Mr. J. Tracy, solr., as city coroner.


Oct 14, 1920 (FJ)

At Derry, Mr John Tracy, city coroner, fined juriors who failed to attend his court, £5 each.


Jan 2, 1921 (FJ) Derry Registration Appeal

...Mr. John Tracy, for the Nationalists...


Jul 28, 1920 (IT) Londonderry Coronership

...seconded the appointment of Mr. J.P. Thompson, JP (U.), acting Coroner and an ex-Mayor of the city. Alderman R. Doherty (N.) proposed and Alderman Charles Bradley (S.F.) seconded the appointed of Mr. John Tracy (N.) solicitor. On a vote, Mr. Tracy was appointed by 20 votes to 17.


Mar 4, 1921 (FJ) Law Notices

Consolidated Taxing Office...Londonderry N.2 RD Council to Tracy, J. Tracy;...


Dec 8, 1921 (FJ) Derry Revision Sessions

At the Derry Revision Sessions, Mr. John Tracey, Nationalist solicitor, questioned the validity of 4000 Unionist objections...[delivered late]

Dec 8, 1921 (FJ) Revision Court Incident. National Solicitor's Experience with Police in Derry

...Special Constables, those on duty carrying revolvers. At one stage, Mr. Tracy, the Nationalist Solicitor, left the Court, but was unable to reach his destination, the office of the Clerk of the Crown and Peace...At the Sessions Mr. Tracy questioned the validity of 4000 objections lodged by the Unionists...


Jan 14, 1922 (FJ) New District Council

...Derry No. 2 Rural District Council was attached to Letterkenny...The Killea Board of Guardians...Mr John Tracy temporary solicitor...Unionist have a majority will make an effort to get into the Northern Parliament.


May 8, 1922 (FJ) Inquest

...Mr. John Tracey, City Coroner in Derry...


2 Nov 1922-4 Apr 1925 North-Eastern Boundary Bureau - Legal agent: John Tracy

Correspondence between EM Stephens, Secretary of the North Eastern Boundary Bureau (NEBB) and John Tracy, NEBB legal agent, Londonderry, concerning the compilation of a brief in response to questions furnished by NEBB on Derry City and District. Correspondence about gerrymandering in constituencies; treatment of minorities in Northern Ireland; bill of costs and representations to be furnished to Boundary Commission also included. NAI NEBB/1/8/42


Dec 18, 1922 (IT) Northern Ireland

Officials Salaries Increased...Derry...Mr. Tracy, City Coroner, £25.

Dec 20, 1922 (IT) Northern Ireland

Derry Officials Salaries...an extra £25 a year to Mr. John Tracy, City Coroner, was rejected.

Dec 23, 1922 (IT) Derry Officials Salaries Increased

...were granted...Mr Tracy, Coroner, £25.


30 December 1922 (NG) Poteen Traffic

Mr John Tracey, coroner, Derry...


31August 1923 & 23 March 1934 Belfast Gazette

John Tracy, Solicitor, 26 Corn Market, Belfast; and Northern Bank Chambers, Londonderry


[1923] Typescript copy will (not certified) of Mary McNally was 'Spinster and Spirit Retailer', Argyle Street, Londonderry, dated 30 November 1908, copied by John Tracy, Solicitor. After main bequests, mentioning five pounds for Mass intentions. 2 pp

Papers of John Hagan, Irish College Rome (1904-1930)


Apr 1923-Aug 1926 Post-Truce (Damage to Property (Compensation) Act 1923) compensation files: County Donegal

John Tracy, Newtown Cunningham, County Donegal.

Scope and Content     Damage to police barracks at the Moyle, Newtown Cunningham by armed forces between 25 March 1922 and June 1922.

Reference: FIN/COMP/2/5/772 Department of Finance


Jan 2, 1924 (FJ)

The annual meeting of the members of the Derry District of the Newspaper Press Fund was held in Derry...Mr. John Tracy, Derry, was appointed hon. solicitor.


Oct 22, 1924 (FJ) Border Opinion

Derry City's position as affected by the Boundary Commission was discussed at a meeting of Tirconail County Council in Lifford yesterday. A letter was read from Mr. John Tracey, solicitor, Derry...He was, he added, still acting for their Council in the demand that Derry should be returned to the county...Mr Tracey was appointed by the County Council in December 1922 but there was no remuneration...Mr. Tracey was one of a deputation from Derry looking after the interests of the Nationalists of Derry who were desirous of entering the Free State...

Oct 22, 1924 (IT) Donegal's Fate

At Co. Donegal County Council meeting yesterday, a letter was read from Mr James Treacy, Derry, satating that in view of information he had received, he considered there was not even a possibility of any part of Donegal, being transferred to the Northern area, and in these circumstances the Committee he had asked the Council to appoint would be unnesessary. He added that he was still acting for the Council in the demand that Derry should be included in the county.

May 20, 1925 (IT) Boundary Commission

...Londonderry...The principal evidence was given by Mr. John Tracy, solicitor for the Nationalists...

Dec 22, 1924 (IT)

...Boundary Commissioners...a representative part of Derry Nationalists led by Mr. John Tracet, solicitor...


25 October 1924 (NG)

The inquest at Derry...Coroner, Mr John Tracy...


Feb 14, 1925 (IT) Donegal Train Smash

...Mr. John Tracey for the Derry and Lough Swilly Railway Company...


Oct 13, 1925 (IT) Derry Sessions Surprise

...Mr. John Tracy, solicitor, who attended on behalf of the Nationalist Registration Association, said that he is likely to be the last Nationalist representation to appear at Revision Sessions in Derry...as the farcical pretence was being kept up that Derry City will be transferred to the Free State...the agents demanded to have their insurance books stamped up to date so as to ensure that when out of work they would receive benefit...


Apr 22, 1929 (IT) Irish in Donegal Court

A Solicitor's Protest. An unavailing protest against the use of Irish by a litigant was made by Mr. John Tracy, solicitor in Newtowncunningham District Court...told her story to District Justice Walsh in Irish. Mr Tracy said that she could speak english as well as he could. The Justice - It is too late in the day to raise that question. She is quite entitled to use the national language if she desires. Mr. Tracy asked the witness a question and she was replying in English when the Justice addressed her in Irish and she reverted to Gaelic...

4 May 1929 (NG) (SS) More Compulsion

At Baile Nua an Mhaoil District Court, Mr. John Tracy, a Doire solicitor protested against a litigant speaking Irish. Mr. Justice Breathnach told Mr. Tracy that it was too late in the day to make such objections. Disgusted Mr. Tracy sat down and listed the court testament to while the "drochuair" reading, but horrible to relate, found that the testament was in Irish too.


16 May 1930 Belfast Gazette

John Tracy, Solicitor, 14 Donegall Street, Belfast; and Londonderry


1932 The Municipal Yearbook and Public Utilities Directory (Page 687)

Londonderry Coroner: John Tracey.


Jun 11, 1936 Belfast Newsletter

Obituary: Mr. John Tracy

Solicitor who was coroner of Londonderry

Mr John Tracy, solicitor, and coroner of Londonderry for 15 years, died at his home in Newtowncunningham, yesterday. He was aged about 60 and was unmarried. Admitted a solicitor in 1897, he began his professional career in partnership with the late Mr James Toner, Clerk of the Crown and Peace for Tyrone, on whose appointment to that position the partnership was dissolved. He was one of the old school of Nationalists and from 1903 till 1915 was a Nationalist member of Derry Corporation. During that time he took an active part in revision work. At the time of the Boundary Commission he acted for the Nationalists in an advisory capacity. He was one of the most successful cattle breeders in Donegal. Mr Tracy was chairman of the Board of Directors of "The Derry Journal" Ltd and was honorary solicitor to the local branch of the Newspaper Press Fund. In sport, he was a keen follower of Association football and he was president of St. Johnston Cricket Club.

Jun 11, 1936 The Irish Times

Obituary: Mr. John Tracy

The death occurred at his residence, Newtowncunningham, County Donegal, last night of Mr. John Tracy, solicitor, who had been City Coroner for Derry for the past fifteen  years, Aged about sixty, and unmarried, he was admitted a solicitor in 1897, and was one of the best-known members of the legal profession in the North of Ireland. He was a Nationalist member of the Derry Corporation from 1903 to 1915. A practical farmer, he figured in recent years as one of the most successful cattle breeders in Donegal, where his father, who predeceased him a few months ago, was for many years a prominent agriculturist. He was chairman of the board of directors of the "Derry Journal" Ltd.


18 December 1936 & 28 April 1944 Belfast Gazette

Tracy & Logue, Solicitors, 26 Corn Market, Belfast; and Northern Bank Chambers, Londonderry


1937/9 The Schools Collection

A Mass Rock

In the corner of a very big field on the farm of Miss Tracy, Newtowncunningham, stands a large stone, and all the people around this district say that, during the Penal times, priests said Mass at it. On top of the stone there is the shape of a cross cut out, and on each side of the big stone there are two small stones. You would know by looking at it that it is very old for it is all covered with moss. The field in which it is gets its name it; it is called "The Standing Stone".

The people of the district say that the person who takes it down will never have a day's luck afterwards. Some old people go to pray at it in the summer time.

Austin Cullen, Plaister, Newtowncunningham, Co. Donegal




Last update: 25 March 2017