Ó Máille, Pádraig (1876/78–1946) politician, was born at Muintir Eoin, Maam Valley, Co. Galway, one of the nine surviving children of Micheál Ó Máille, farmer, and his wife, Sorcha (née Joyce, d. 1916). Ó Máille was educated locally and a keen Gaelic scholar; he joined the Gaelic League from its earliest days. Writing regularly for An Claidheamh Soluis, and later for Sinn Féin and An Stoc, he was a league organiser in Connacht by 1901. In 1910 he left his work on the farm, joining the league's coiste gnó (executive) in 1911. Aligned with the left wing, he argued for social and economic change for the western islands in 1913. At the league ard fheis in 1915 he proposed that political independence should become the aim of the organisation.
A member of Sinn Féin, he joined the Irish Volunteers in 1914, becoming instrumental in their formation in the west. In 1916 he fought alongside Liam Mellows (qv) in Galway and was interned at Wandsworth prison, until early June when he was transferred to Frongoch camp in Wales. There he was elected to the executive of the camp council, but he was quickly transferred to Reading jail, where he was held until the general release of December 1916. He was among those deported to England in early 1917, but like the others he soon absconded to Ireland. During the German plot he resisted arrest, together with his brother Eamon. This was considered the first incident of violence in Connemara in the war of independence. In the 1918 election he won the West Galway seat from the Irish Party candidate, William O'Malley (qv). Delivering all his political speeches in Irish, he was a member of the committee responsible for the composition of Irish terms for the first dáil. Active throughout the war of independence, he was involved, again with his brother Eamon, in one of the lengthiest engagements of the war, fighting for twelve hours in Maam Valley. The family home was burned as a reprisal.
Reelected in 1921 and 1922, he accepted the treaty and was appointed leas ceann comhairle in 1922. He retained the post until 1927. From May to June 1922 he was one of the ten-member committee, comprised of an equal number of pro- and anti-treatyite TDs, charged with averting civil war. He was also a member of the subcommittee formed to draft the constitution of the Cumann na nGaedheal party in September 1922. On 7 December 1922 he was shot in the spine outside the Ormond hotel in Dublin. Seán Hales (qv) was killed in the same incident. It was believed that Ó Máille was the republicans’ intended victim, owing to his vote in favour of the special powers resolution. Despite his injuries, he drove Hales to the nearest hospital. The republican prisoners Rory O'Connor (qv), Dick Barrett (qv), Joe McKelvey (qv), and his erstwhile comrade Mellows, were executed without trial (8 December 1922) as a reprisal for the incident. Returned for Galway in the 1923 election, he was a member of the private bill joint committee formed to deliberate on the divorce question in 1924.
The army mutiny of 1924 began his estrangement from the Cumann na nGaedheal government. This was intensified by the boundary agreement in 1925 which induced him to try to persuade anti-treatyites to enter the dáil to vote against the agreement. In 1926, together with Professor William Magennis (qv), he formed a new constitutional republican party, Clann Éireann. It sought the abolition of the oath, the revision of the boundary agreement and the pursuance of a policy of protectionism. He, like the new party's six other candidates, was defeated in the June 1927 election. He was again defeated in the September 1927 election when he ran as an independent. Standing for Fianna Fáil in Dublin County in 1932, he was defeated once more. Although he took Domhnall Ó Buachalla's (qv) place on the Gaeltacht commission, he returned to farming, becoming prominent in the agricultural community. Elected to the senate in 1934 on the agricultural panel, he also organised and chaired the United Farmers’ Protection Association. He returned to the new seanad in 1938 and was chosen as leas cathaoirleach. When Cú Uladh (Peadar Mac Fhionnlaoich (qv)) died in 1942 Ó Máille received the taoiseach's nomination. He remained a senator until his death on 19 January 1946. Accorded a guard of honour by the Dublin brigade, he was buried at Glencullen cemetery, Co. Dublin. He married 28 September 1921 Eileen, daughter of Martin Acton, a farmer from Clifden; they had two sons and three daughters.