Captain the Chevalier Richard Mingo Sweeney of Bolger’s Park, Lt. RCN (R), Capt. CA (R), GCLJ, KMLJ, OL
Capt. the Chevalier Richard Mingo Sweeney of Bolger’s Park was born on 29 October 1922 in Trochu, Alberta, Canada. The Great Depression forced his family to migrate east and they eventually settled in the British Crown Colony of Bermuda. Following a long-standing family tradition of military service, he joined the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in 1939 at the age of seventeen. A training injury led to his early discharge and he returned home to Bermuda to recuperate. Later, he 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 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 producing feature films in Canada and serving as a military consultant for TV and Radio in New York City in the 1950’s. After his father’s death, he returned to Nova Scotia where he spent several years on his family’s estate of “Rosemere” in Onslow, Truro. In addition, he spent much of his time in active service as a Knight Commander of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and Officer of the Rose of Lippe. As such, he eventually moved to Pictou and established “The Commandery of the Holy Trinity,” a regional branch of the Order in Eastern Canada. It was then that he decided to found The St. Suibhne Trust. As an historian, genealogist, and heraldist, he specialized in Scotland and Ireland, including his own Clan Sweeney. In recognition of his work in this field, he was elected Co-Chief of Clan Sweeney (MacSuibhne Banagh).
In addition to his role 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.