Anna Agnes Mary McMahon was born on 16 May 1871 in Cork city and christened in St Finbar’s Church. Anna Agnes appeared on her birth certificate and baptisimal record, but was known to family and friends as Antia.
Her father Thomas John McMahon was the manager of the National Bank on the South Mall in the city. Little is known about her early life, given her father’s profession she must have enjoyed a relatively comfortable existence. She qualified as a journalist and may have studied in University College Cork, or Queen’s College as it was known at the time. There was a degree course in journalism there in the early 1900’s, which she may have attended. She worked on Fleet St., London for some time.
Some time in the beginning of the 1900’s like Emily Anita began mixing in Gaelic League circles, which in turn inspired her to sign up for Irish language classes run by Scoil Acla. The summer school and/or the people she met there had a profound influence on Antia’s life. She more or less made Achill her home for life.
“Ireland Births and Baptisms, 1620-1881,” index, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FPVR-88K : accessed 15 Sep 2014), Anna Agnes Mary Mc Mahon, 16 May 1871; citing Cork, Ireland, reference v 10 p 202; FHL microfilm 255824.