Brian Mulroney

Mulroney in 1984, A1C LYNCH

Birth Name: Martin Brian Mulroney

Date of Birth: March 20, 1939

Place of Birth: Baie-Comeau, Québec, Canada

Date of Death: February 29, 2024

Place of Death: Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.

Ethnicity: Irish

Brian Mulroney was a Canadian politician, lawyer, businessperson, and international business consultant. He served as the eighteenth Prime Minister of Canada, from September 17, 1984 to June 25, 1993. He was Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, from June 11, 1983 to June 13, 1993, Leader of the Opposition, from August 29, 1983 to September 17, 1984; and a Member of Parliament for Central Nova (NS), and for Manicouagan, and then Charlevoix (both QC), cumulatively, from August 29, 1983 to October 25, 1993. He had been a prominent labour lawyer, and later president of the Iron Ore Company of Canada. As Prime Minister, he instituted the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, and a goods and services tax (GST) inplace of a manufacturers’ sales tax; privatized 23 Crown corporations, including Air Canada and Petro-Canada; increased U.S. ties and opposed South African apartheid; and strengthened environmental protections, including an acid rain treaty with the U.S., passing the Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Protection Act Canada, approving a pioneer ratification of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and adding national parks, such as Bruce Peninsula and South Moresby. His tenure was marked by the revival of Québec separatism and the rise of the western Reform Party. In his first election as leader, his party won 74.8% of seats, 211; upon his departure, in 1993, his party won 2. He is the first Canadian Prime Minister to die in a location outside of England or Canada.

Prime Minister Mulroney was the son of Mary Irene (O’Shea) and Benedict Martin Mulroney, a paper mill electrician. His birthplace of Baie-Comeau was a remote town in eastern Québec. He was an Irish Québecer, with roots in the province to the early 1800s.

Prime Minister Mulroney was married to Sarajevo-born Serbian immigrant, Mila Mulroney (born Milica Pivnički), until his death; with whom he had four children, including financial analyst and politician Caroline Mulroney and television host Ben Mulroney. Caroline has been Attorney General of Ontario, from June 29, 2018 to June 20, 2019, and Minister of Francophone Affairs and Minister of Transportation, of Ontario, since 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Prime Minister Mulroney’s paternal grandfather was Joseph Jeremiah Mulroney (the son of Pierce Mulroney and Ellen Buckley). Joseph was born in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Québec, to Irish parents, his father from Co. Cavan and his mother from Co. Tipperary. Pierce was the son of Thomas Mulroney and Dora Disney/Dozaney. Ellen was the daughter of Darby Buckley and Jane/Jeanne Quirk.

Prime Minister Mulroney’s paternal grandmother was Marguerite/Margaret Anne/Ann Donovan (the daughter of John/Jean Donovan and Mary/Marie Barry). Marguerite was born in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Québec. John was born in Ste. Catherine de Portneuf, to Irish parents, from Co. Cork., John/Jean Donovan and Mary/Marie O’Neil/O’Neill. Prime Minister Mulroney’s great-grandmother Mary/Marie Barry was also born in Ste. Catherine de Portneuf, also to Irish parents; she was the daughter of James/Jacques Berry and Margaret/Marguerite White, with her father being from Co. Wexford and her mother being from Co. Kilkenny.

Prime Minister Mulroney’s maternal grandfather was Edmund O’Shea/Shea (the son of Thomas O’Shea/Shea and Marie/Mary Griffin). Edmund was born in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Québec. Thomas was born in Ste. Catherine de Portneuf, to an Irish father, Edmund/Edmond O’Shea/Shea, from Co. Kilkenny, and Ellen Eleanor/Eleonor Thompson. Ellen’s father, Thomas Thompson, is often listed as born in Denmark or Germany; of unclear origin. Marie/Mary was born in Canada, to Irish parents, Michael Griffin and Mary/Marie Lannin/Lannon, with her father being from Co. Carlow.

Prime Minister Mulroney’s maternal grandmother was Mary/Marie-Ellen Sheehan (the daughter of John/Jean Sheehan and Mary Ellen Donohue/Donahue). Prime Minister Mulroney’s grandmother Mary/Marie-Ellen was born in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, Québec. John was born in Canada, the son of Irish immigrants, James/Jacques Sheehan and Mary/Marie Carroll. Prime Minister Mulroney’s great-grandmother Mary Ellen Donohue/Donahue was also born in Canada, the daughter of John/Jean Donaghue/Donohue/Donahue and Ellen Shea, who were Irish.

Sources: Genealogies of Brian Mulroney –

Possibly Brian’s maternal great-great-great-grandfather, Thomas Thompson, on the 1861 Canada, Québec Census –

5 Responses

    • madman says:

      Yes. So 1/32 Danish should be added.

      Or maybe his ancestor Thomas Thompson’s ancestry isn’t clear. After all, Thompson would be an unusual Danish surname (both because it ends with “son” and not “sen”, and, more importantly, because of the “P”). It sounds more British Isles, but ancestry says that both his parents were from Denmark… Maybe it was changed.

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