Our Founder

Captain the Chevalier Richard Mingo Sweeney of Bolger’s Park, Lt. RCN (R), Capt. CA (R), GCLJ, KMLJ, OL

Mingo Sweeney
S/Lt. R. Mingo Sweeney, H.M.C.S. Trillium, North Atlantic, 1943

R. Mingo Sweeney was born on 29 October 1922 in Trochu, Alberta. Following the Great Depression, his family settled in Bermuda. In 1939, he joined the Canadian Army in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. He later joined the Royal Canadian Navy and was commissioned a Lieutenant in 1942. He served as Gunnery Officer during the Battle of the Atlantic on board the K172 Corvette, HMCS Trillium. He was then given command of the Port Security Guard in St. John’s, Newfoundland from 1943-46. Following the war, he became involved in the Cadet Corps in Montreal, Quebec and attained the rank of Captain (Canadian Army).

R. Mingo Sweeney’s later career included the production of feature films in Canada and serving as military consultant for TV and Radio while in New York City in the 1950’s. Returning to Nova Scotia, he spent several years on his family’s estate of “Rosemere” in Onslow, Truro. A Knight Commander of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and Officer of the Rose of Lippe, he then moved to Pictou and established “The Commandery of the Holy Trinity,” a regional branch of the Order in Eastern Canada, and also founded the St. Suibhne Trust. As an historian, genealogist, and expert in heraldry, he specialized in Scotland and Ireland,  including his own Clan Sweeney. He was elected Co-Chief of Clan Sweeney (MacSuibhne Banagh).

Mingo Sweeney
The Commandery, Pictou, Nova Scotia
Mingo Sweeney
R. Mingo Sweeney, Ireland, 1980

In addition to playing an active and leading role for many years in the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, he was an active member in many associations and societies, including the Augustan Society, the Royal Stuart Society, the Monarchist League of Canada, the International Monarchist League, the Military History Society of Ireland, the Donegal Historical Society, the Heraldry Society of Scotland, the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, the International Commission of Orders of Chivalry, and the Canadian Naval Officers Association, among many others. His publications include Sween (Suibhne), Clan of the Battle Axe: A Brief History of the MacSweeney Galloglass, and Scots Empire: Beinge the Storie of the Kingdom of Scotland’s Briefe Empire: the Lordship of Nova Scotia.

The Sweeneys of Bolger’s Park descend from the House of Niall through the Kings of Aileach, Lords of Castle Sween, Princes of Fanad, and the High Constables of Ormond. Shanballyduff was granted by the Palatine Earl of Ormond to this branch of the MacSweeneys prior to 1582 when the death in battle of Cola MacSuibhne is noted in the Annals of the Four Masters of Ireland. The feudal title “of Bolger’s Park” was granted under the Seal of the Court of the Lord Lyon of Scotland and published in the Royal Gazette of Canada.

Sweeney of Bolger’s Park
Sweeney of Bolger’s Park