Clancy, John Joseph (1847–1928), journalist, politician, and barrister, was born 15 July 1847, the eldest son of William Clancy (1809?–1874), a farmer of Carragh Lodge, Claregalway, Co. Galway, and his wife Mary (née Burke). He was educated at Summerhill College, Athlone, and at QCG (where he was a scholar, exhibitioner and prizeman), graduating with an MA from the RUI. After three years teaching classics at the Holy Cross School, Tralee, Co. Kerry, he turned to journalism, becoming in 1870 assistant editor of the Nation in Dublin. In 1885 he entered the house of commons on winning the North County Dublin seat for the Irish home rule party of Charles Stewart Parnell (qv), and held the seat until 1918. In 1886 he became editor of the Irish Press Agency, set up in that year to promote Parnell's party in England. When the party split in December 1890 Clancy, an able and moderate man, actively supported Parnell. After the latter's death in October 1891 he was a confidant of his successor, John Redmond (qv), worked as a leader writer on the Parnellite newspaper, the Irish Daily Independent, and was generally a figure of great importance in the party.
An expert on financial matters, land purchase and local government, he contributed regularly to parliamentary debates and published various articles and pamphlets, including A year of unionist coercion (1888), Mr Balfour's war on the Irish press (1889), and The men of ’98: a vindication and a lesson (1890). After county councils were set up in Ireland, Clancy edited the County Councils Gazette and wrote A handbook of local government in Ireland (1899). He contributed usefully to the passing of the Housing of the Working Classes (Ireland) Act of 1908, which in consequence became known as the Clancy act. He was one of the five representatives of the Irish home-rule MPs at the Irish convention of 1917, becoming the chief spokesman after the death of John Redmond on 6 March 1918. In 1887 he was called to the bar. He practised at the land court and at the chancery court, taking silk in 1906. At the general election of 1918, having been returned unopposed at the preceding four elections, he was defeated by a Sinn Féin candidate, by 9,138 votes to 4,428.
Clancy married in 1868 Margaret Louise Hickie (1848–1912), whose father was P. J. Hickie of Newcastlewest, Co. Limerick. They lived latterly at Sandycove, Co. Dublin, having had three sons and three daughters. Clancy died 25 November 1928 in Dublin. He is not to be confused with the John Joseph Clancy who was chairman of Sligo county council and dáil deputy for North Sligo (1918–21).