Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Walsh Ecclesiastical History Diocese of Cork


CHAPTER XXI SEE OF CORK Its founder St Barr or Finbarr is supposed to have been raised to the episcopacy about the beginning of the 7th century He was a native of Connaught of the sept Hy Bruin Ratha a district lying to the northeast of Galway and in the barony of Athenry As Lochan was the name of the family Finbarr was only his surname and it means white haired This eminent saint was educated under Mac Corb a disciple of St Gregory the Great Having travelled through Britain Gaul and Italy in quest of knowledge he returned to Ireland and erec ed a monastery and school near Loch eire at the south side of the river Lee on a site granted him by a chieftain named Odo Barr was a great favorite with St Aidan bishop of Ferns and is said to have been the companion of his journeys to Britain and thence to Rome It appears that on his return to Ireland he had been a bishop Of his successors in the see the list is very incomplete until the year 1152 when Gilla Aeda O Mugin bishop of Cork attended the synod of Kells Since that period the succession is complete St Finbarr died at Cloyne on the 25th of September about the year 622 and was interred in Cork having presided seventeen years The reputation of St Finbarr for sanctity and knowledge soon spread over Ireland and reached the Continent Multitudes of scholars native and foreign repaired to his establishment and in a few years it contained several hundred monks many of whom became professors in various schools both in Ireland and in foreign countries The celebrated Gar van from whom Dungarvan is supposed to have taken its name was a disciple of the saint and also the learned Nessan whose character as a professor of sacred literature attracted still greater numbers to the school of St Barr Cork thus became a populous and extensive city and subsequently was enlarged and improved by the Danes who settled there but to whom its origin is to be by no means ascribed St Finbarr the founder of the see in 606 died about 623 St If essan the disciple of St Barr probably not a bishop This Nessan is different from Nessan of Mungret who died in 552 Numbers of disciples from all parts flocked hither under St Nessan as to the habitation of wisdom and to the sanctuary of all Christian virtues according to the biographer of St Barr The festival of St Nessan is observed at Cork on the 17th of March and on the 1st of December The year of his death is unknown Russin son of Lappin comorban of St Barr and bishop of Cork died on the 7th of April 685 Selbac died in 773 Cathmogan died in 961 Columb MacCiarucain called comorban of St Barr died in 990 Cellach O Selbac who died on a pilgrimage in 1026 he is called bishop successor of Barr and chief of the wise men of Munster Neil O Mailduib died in 1027 Airtri Sairt died in 1028 Cathal died in 1034 Mugron O Mutan comorban of Barr and bishop of Cork was inhumanly murdered by robbers of Cork in 1057 Clerech O Selbac died in 1086 Mac Lothod O Hailgenen died in 1107 Patrick CSelbaic died in 1111 The see being vacant in 1140 St Malachy of Armagh nominated a foreigner and a man of sanctity and learning to the see with the approbation and applause of the clergy and people but the name is unknown however the following Bishop Gilla is supposed to have been the person whom St Malachy named Gilla Aeda O Mugin a native of Connaught and of the family of the monastery of Errew of Loughcon sat in the see of Cork in the year 1152 and assisted at the council of Kells He died in the year 1172 and was highly celebrated for his virtues by the Irish historians who call him the chief prelate for devotion wisdom and chastity in all Ireland Others of them say that he was sanctified by God and a man full of God's blessing This bishop is reckoned among the principal benefactors to the church of Cork The abbey of Augustin Canons of St Finbarr's Cave commonly called Gille Abbey took its name from this bishop and of which he had been abbot Gregory succeeded in 1172 He granted to the abbey of Thomas court near Dublin the church of St Nessan at Cork Gregory having presided about fourteen years died AD 1186 Reginald the time of whose consecration or death is unknown O Selbaic bishop of Cork died in 1205 Supposed to be identical with Reginald Geoffry White in the year 1215 was recommended to the archbishops of Dublin and Cashel by King Henry HI as a learned provident and honest man It does not appear whether he was consecrated or not Marian O Brien bishop of Cork in 1224 was translated to the see of Cashel in this year by provision of the Pope Gilbert archdeacon of Cork was consecrated in 1225 and died in 1238 Before his death this prelate with the consent of his chapter granted in fee farm to Michael de Drnelle one plow land part of the possessions of his see lying between Kilmahanock and the lands of Duf glay to hold of God and St Barr and of him and his successors at the rent of sixteen pence Lawrence who succeeded died in 1264 William a Cistercian monk of Jerpoint succeeded in 1266 and was confirmed by the Pope's legate It seems he sat but a very short time Reginald or Reynold treasurer of Cashel obtained the temporals of this see in August 1267 In the year 1270 Prince Edward then lord of Ireland by donation of his father granted to this prelate and to his successors for the relief and amendment of the state of the church of Cork the right of patronage and advowsons of the churches of the blessed Virgin of Nard and Kilmahanock and also of the chapel of St Peter at Cork But he reclaimed those advowsons to the crown when he afterwards ascended the throne Reginald died at Cork in December 1276 and was buried in the church of St Barr Robert MacDonagh a Cistercian monk of great learning succeeded in 1277 and also obtained the temporals The advowsons granted to his predecessors were recovered from this prelate as is already noted He died in March 1301 having sat twenty four years John MacCarwill dean of Cork was unanimously elected by the chapter in June 1302 obtained the royal assent and was confirmed by the archbishop of Cashel in July following He was translated to the see of Meath by Pope John XXH in 1321 and afterwards to Cashel in 1327 Philip of Slane was a Dominican friar appointed by the Pope and obtained the temporals in July 1321 Three years afterwards he was sent an embassador to the Pope by King Edward H and discharged his commission with such address that he was on his return called to the privy council of Ireland The Pope armed this prelate the archbishops of Dublin and Cashel with a commission to inform themselves of what things were wanting and expedient for the peace and tranquility of Ireland On his return to Ireland a council was called at which a large number of the nobility and gentry attended and at which it was resolved as necessary for the welfare and quiet of the realm 1st That the disturbers of the peace and invaders of the king's rights should be excommunicated by the archbishops and bishops by virtue of the apostolic authority 2d That the small and poor bishoprics not exceeding twenty forty or sixty pounds a year and which were governed by mere Irish should be united to the more eminent sees 3d That the Irish abbots and priors should be enjoined by apostolic authority to admit the English into a lay brotherhood in their monasteries in order to establish a brotherly love and concord between the two people When the council concluded its business Philip bishop of Cork was despatched to the king who forwarded those resolutions to the Pope to be by him sanctioned with the weight of his authority The Pope thought proper to annex the three cathedrals of Enach dune Achonry and Kilmacduach to the see of Tuam This affair was kept a secret from the king nor was it notified to the respective bishops and chapters The king Edward III afterwards complained in the year 1330 to the Pope when Malachy MacAeda archbishop of Tuam seized the bishopric of Enaghdune by virtue of this union The bishop of Cork now dead escaped the king's resentment The junction of Achonry and Kilmacduach was not attempted Philip bishop of Cork died in 1326 and before the end of that year John le Blond canon of Cork was elected to succeed He either sat a short time or was never consecrated Walter le Rede or Rufus canon of Cork was promoted by the Pope John XXII and obtained the temporals in October 1327 From his see of Cork he was translated by the same Pope to the archdiocese of Cashel AD 1330 John de Baliconingham rector of Ardwinhin in the diocese of Down was appointed to the see of Cork in the year 1330 though the Pope annulled his election to the see of Down a little before that time John died on the 29th of May 1347 having governed the see about seventeen years John Roche canon of the cathedral of Cork and a man descended of a noble family elected by the dean and chapter in 1347 was consecrated by Ralph Kelley archbishop of Cashel about the Christmas of that year He sat ten years and six months having died on the 4th of July 1358 Gerald de Barry a person descended of a noble and ancient family of the Barrys and dean of Cork was consecrated bishop of Cork in 1359 and sat upwards of thirty four years He died worn out with sickness in the 90th year of his age on the 4th of January 1393 and was buried in his own cathedral Roger Ellesmere a friar succeeded by provision of Pope Boniface IX and having sworn fealty to the king obtained the temporals in March 1396 He sat in this see ten years and died in 1406 Gerald succeeded in the year 1406 Nothing more known of him Patrick Ragged succeeded and was translated to the see of Ossory AD 1417 In the years 1415 and 1416 he attended the council of Constance and while there acquired a vast reputation for his learning and other endowments Miles Fitz John dean of Cork succeeded in 1418 consecrated in the same year and died in the year 1430 During his incumbency Adam Pay bishop of Cloyne strove to unite the see of Cork to that of Cloyne The parliament not deeming the affair within its cognizance the cause was referred to the court of Rome and those sees on the death of Miles were accordingly united by Pope Martin V Jordan succeeded to both sees in 1431 Jordan was chancellor of Limerick and was promoted by provision of Pope Martin V In 1465 attempts were made to deprive him of his see William Roche archdeacon of Cloyne by false suggestions to the Pope representing that the Bishop Jordan was so worn out with age and deprived of strength and sight and therefore unable to discharge the pastoral offices obtained his appointment as coadjutor of Cork and Cloyne and by virtue thereof seized all the rents and revenues of the see To give effect to the plot Gerald a clergyman of Cloyne and before then the domestic of the prelate Jordan caused some instruments to be forged in which it was set forth that the aged bishop constituted this Gerald and John O Hedian archdeacon of Cashel his proctors to make a resignation of his bishopric O Hedian employed the bishop elect of Ardagh who was then at Rome as his substitute to make this resignation into the hands of Pope Pius H On this being done the archdeacon of Cashel obtained a provision for him to the sees Bishop Jordan applied to the king and to the Pope the latter sent a commission to the archbishop of Cashel and to the bishops of Exeter and Limerick authorizing them to make a strict inquiry into the case of bishop Jordan and if found as Jordan represented to remove the coadjutor and also compel him to return an account of the revenues of the sees Bishop Jordan succeeded and was restored to his rights he afterwards continued quiet in the possession of his see during life The year of his death is unknown His incumbency continued over thirty years Gerald Fitz Richard who was so active in invading the rights of Bishop Jordan succeeded He appropriated the vicarages of Clonmolt Danigin Donilbane and Bally espillany to the abbey of de Choro Benedict Middleton and died in the year 1479 William Roche who by false suggestions was appointed coadjutor to Bishop Jordan succeeded in 1479 and resigned in the year 1490 Six years afterwards he procured a pardon from Henry VII for being implicated in the rebellion of Perkin Warbeck Thady MacCarthy called by some Mechar succeeded in 1490 by provision of Pope Innocent VHI Died in 1498 Gerald bishop of Cloyne and Cork resigned in 1499 John Fitz Edmond descended of the Geraldines succeeded by provision of the Pope on the 26th June 1499 The year of his death is not ascertained John Bennet or Ferret died in 1536 Lewis MacNamara a Franciscan friar was appointed to the sees of Cork and Cloyne by the Pope but did not obtain possession of the temporals as Henry VHI thrust a schismatic Dominick Tirrey into occupation which he held about twenty years Lewis died a few days after his appointment at Rome John Hoyedon canon of Elphin was appointed by a papal provision also in November 1540 Edmund Tanner was bishop of those sees in 1580 Was grievously persecuted in Elizabeth's reign William Therry bishop of those sees in 1620 Richard Barry bishop of those sees in 1646 was a doctor of sacred theology His name is appended to the sentence of excommunication which the nuncio Rinuccini issued in 1648 subscribed the resolutions of Jamestown and again signed the commission of the celebrated Nicholas French bishop of Ferns and of Sir James Preston to the Duke of Lorrain Norbert or Robert died in 1667 Peter Creagh succeeded and was translated to Dublin John Baptist Skynne succeeded in 1701 died in 1709 Denis MacCarthy succeeded Year of his death is not recorded Timothy MacCarthy bishop in 1730 The see of Cloyne is again reconstituted by Benedict XIV in the year 1748 Richard Walsh bishop of Cork appointed by the illustrious pontiff Benedict XIV Richard it seems was living when Thomas de Burgo bishop of Ossory published his Hibernia Dominicana Honorable James Butler afterwards Lord Dunboyne succeeded Was translated to Cashel In the year 1787 James Butler in order to gain possession of his family estate renounced his religion in the parish church of Clonmel Faith is a precious gift which does not depend on man's strength it is the boon of heaven more precious and more valuable than all the perishable goods of life to which man is so attached and as those things require care and economy and a faithful dispensation in their use and application lest they be wasted and consumed so it is with this holy gift In order to retain possession of it humility prayer and grateful acknowledgments to the Father of mercies who abundantly showers his graces and benedictions on his children are necessary The best and first of Christians have lost their faith He who stands should beware lest he fall Lord Dunboyne persevered in this wretched course until May 1800 when sickness reminded him of his defection from the Catholic church and of the imperative obligation of quickly returning to the fold which he deserted In that month the archbishop of Dublin Doctor Troy received two letters from Lord Dunboyne with which his physician Dr Purcell had been entrusted one of which Lord Dunboyne desired to be addressed to the Pope expressing contrition for the rash act he had committed and soliciting his reception into the bosom of the Catholic church The letter to Rome was accordingly forwarded by the archbishop of Dublin But his illness becoming too serious to admit of delay Dr Troy directed the Rev Dr Gahan for whom Lord Dunboyne entertained the highest esteem to proceed to the castle of Dunboyne and comply with the wishes of the dying prelate During this illness Lord Dunboyne bequeathed to the trustees of Maynooth college an estate which he possessed in the county of Meath worth 1000 per annum however this legacy was contested by Lady Dunboyne with whom in virtue of an act of parliament made specially for this occasion a compromise was effected and half of the original sum has in consequence become the permanent property of the college This annuity together with a sum of 700 which the parliament granted in the year 1813 through the influence of Vesey FitzGerald member for the county of Clare and chancellor of the Irish exchequer is applied to the maintenance of twenty students selected from the most distinguished members who have completed the usual course of studies in the college Their time is devoted to the study of ecclesiastical tical history canon law the Hebrew language and to the composition of dissertations on various theological subjects This important establishment since called the Dunboyne was placed under the superintendence of the Rev Charles MacNally now bishop of Clogher in the year 1828 and is at present ably and efficiently conducted by the Very Rev John O Hanlon DD During the trial of the suit which Lady Dunboyne instituted at Trim Dr Gahan who attended the dying prelate was one of those who underwent six painful examinations in the chancery office on previous occasions and was directed to answer various questions to which he could not conscientiously respond His refusal was declared by Lord Kilwarden who presided at the trial as a contempt of court and the venerable Gahan was sentenced to undergo a week's confinement in the prison of Trim To his sentence he submitted with fortitude and Christian resignation affirming and assuring his lordship that like Eleazar of old he would sooner lay his head on a block and forfeit his life than reveal the secrets which had been disclosed to him in the ministerial discharge of his duty He was soon after as he had acted from principle discharged by the decision of the court Francis Moylan was translated from Kerry in 1786 Died universally regretted in the year 1815 Florence MacCarthy coadjutor to Doctor Moylan in 1800 died in 1810 John Murphy consecrated in April 1815 accompanied Daniel Murray the archbishop of Dublin on his journey to Rome as the representatives of the Irish bishops when the vetoistical arrangements were in contemplation for the Irish church During an incumbency of thirty years Doctor Murphy accumulated the largest private library in Ireland He died in 1847 William Delany succeeded Was consecrated in August 1847 and now happily presides

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Ecclesiastical History Diocese of Cloyne and Ross - 1.

From Walsh's Ecclesiastical History of Ireland, from p. 246, Chapter XXVI:


The first of these sees was founded by Saint Colman about the year 580 Colman was of royal extraction by his father's side whose name was Lenine or Lenin and brother to one of the Saints Bridget. He is sometimes surnamed Mitine, whence it is to be inferred that he was a native of the district called Muskerry in the county of Cork. The time of his birth is not known but it was probably about the year 522. He seems to have devoted his early years to the study of poetry and we are assured that he was domestic poet to the prince Aodh Caomh who was raised to the throne of Cashel about the middle of the sixth century and that he was present together with Brendan of Clonfert at his inauguration in Maghfemyn between Cashel and Clonmel. Colman soon after, in accordance with the advice of Saint Brendan, renounced his worldly pursuits and is said to have repaired to the school of St Iarlath at Tuam. Some say that he was the disciple of St. Finbarr of Cork but it is not likely as Colman must have been much older. Colman died according to some in the year 601 or to others in 604. His festival is marked at the 24th of November.

It appears that St Colman became an eminent scholar as he has left a life of St. Senan of Inniscathy written in Irish metre and in an elegant style. He was also a great proficient in the science of the saints.

The see of Ross was founded by St. Fachnan about the year 570. He is also reckoned among the disciples of St. Finbarr but he was prior to that saint. He was surnamed Mongach, i.e., hairy or according to another interpretation MacMongach, son of Mongach. Before he established himself at Ross, Fachnan was abbot of Darinis Maclanfaidh, now Molona, a small island in the river Blackwater, county of Waterford. The school which he founded at Ross was one of the most celebrated and frequented in the south of Ireland. St. Fachnan died at the close of the sixth century and his natalis or the day of his death is marked on the 14th of August. This see has obtained the name of Ross Alithre because of the number of pilgrims who resorted thither. The see of Ross became annexed to that of Cloyne in the eighteenth century and has been again reconstituted by the present illustrious Pontiff Pius IX.

St. Colman, first bishop of Cloyne as already noticed. Of his successors in the see only four are recorded until the coming of the English.

Ó Malvain, bishop of Cloyne died in 1094.
Nehemiah Ó Moriertach flourished in the year 1140 and died about 1149. He is called a plain and modest man excelling all others in wisdom and chastity.
Ó Dubery or Ó Dubrein called abbot of Cluainvama died in 1159.
Ó Flanagan died in 1167.

Mathew sat in 1171 and died about the year 1192 supposed to have been O Mongagh. If so he was legate of Ireland whose legatine authority devolved on Mathew O'Heney, archbishop of Cashel.
Lawrence O'Sullivan who succeeded died at Lismore in 1204. Daniel died in 1222.
Florence, archdeacon of Belleghac, was elected bishop of Cloyne and at the Pope's request obtained the temporals on the 25th of August, 1224. In the February of the following year the custody of the temporals was granted to Marian, archbishop of Cashel.
Patrick, a Cistercian monk and who was prior of the abbey of Fermoy, was confirmed by the royal assent in the year 1226.
David Mackelley, dean of Cashel, succeeded and was translated to the see of Cashel in 1238.
Alan O'Sullivan succeeded in 1240 was translated to the see of Lismore in 1248.
Daniel, according to Luke Wadding a Franciscan friar, was consecrated bishop of this see in 1249. Upon his election the dean and chapter refused to present him to the king for his approbation but by apostolic mandate directed to the archbishop of Cashel and to the bishops of Killaloe and Lismore proceeded to have him consecrated. The king became so offended at this conduct that he refused to restore him to the temporals until he was prevailed upon by the urgent supplications of some good and religious men, the chapter giving security by patent that they would not in future proceed to elect without the king's licence and that the person elected should present himself to the king for his approbation before he would be consecrated. Daniel died in the beginning of the year 1264 and had been a prelate much esteemed for his virtues devotion and wisdom.
Reginald, who was bishop of Down, obtained the see of Cloyne in 1265. He died about the close of the year 1273.
Alan O'Lonergan, a Franciscan friar, succeeded in 1274. He died in 1283.
Nicholas de Effingham, an Englishman, succeeded in 1284 and obtained the temporals in September of that year. He died in a very advanced age A.D. 1320 having presided upwards of thirty six years.
Maurice Osolehan, archdeacon of Cloyne, succeeded in 1320 and died in 1333 in the thirteenth year after his consecration. In consideration of the poverty of the sees of Cloyne and Cork, King Edward III formed a design to unite them and with that view wrote to the Pope who agreed with the king in the propriety of the measure and accordingly issued a bull to that effect, the original bull being lost.

Richard Wye then bishop of Cloyne applied to Pope Gregory XI to remedy the loss and obtained an exemplification of the bull which John XXII had before granted, but the project of the union was not accomplished until the year 1430, when Jordan, bishop of Cork was promoted to both sees on the death of Adam Pay, bishop of Cloyne, who used every effort to bring this union about.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Along the Banks of the River Lee - St. Finbar and the Bishop of Ross

Des has asked me to write up something about the Catholic heritage of Cork so I decided to start at the beginning, with Gougane Barra and St. Finbar. Before the time of St. Finbar, this lake was known as Lough Irce and it lies deep in a long valley, surrounded on all sides by hills, except on the east where the famous waters of the River Lee begin to flow towards Cork City and the sea. When you first approach the lake from Ballingeary direction it looks almost square but, in fact, it is almost a mile long and only about 300 yards wide.

Holy Island was the site of the 6th century monastery of St. Finbar. The present Church is just over a hundred years old in a style also seen in Cormac's Chapel on the Rock of Cashel. The head of St. Finbar crowns the elaborately carved doorway.

Near the Oratory is an enclosure that marks the site both of the monastery of St. Finbar and the retreat of Fr. Denis O'Mahony, a Priest of the Penal Era. The monastery of St. Finbar was probably of wattle and daub construction, so we don't know the precise location. However, the inscription on the cross, in Latin, Irish and English reads: Here stood in the 6th century, the cell of St. Finbarr, first Bishop of Cork." Nearby, a slab bears the inscription: "This place of devotion was dedicated unto Almighty God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and unto St. Finn Bary in the seventeenth century of our Lord, by the Rev. Denis O'Mahony, who after the erecting of these buildings, made them his residence till the end of his religious days in this world..." Just to the east of this enclosure is a ruined chapel that appears to have been the chapel used by Fr. O'Mahony. Fr. O'Mahony died in 1700 and was burried in a grave near the entrance to Holy Island. The Cork poet J.J. Callanan is also commemorated by a simple cross here. He wrote a poem on Gougane including the lines:

There is a green island in lone Gougane Barra
Where Allua of song rushes forth as an arrow.
In deep-valley'd Desmond - a thousand wild fountains,
Come down to that lake from their homes in the mountains.

The Lee leaves Gougane and flows east past Ballingeary and opens out into another lake, the famous Lough Allua. At Ballingeary, during the terrible days of the Black and Tans the forces of the British Crown would regularly harrass Mass-goers as they left. On 10 November, 1920 as they left the scene of the murder of an unarmed young man, they jeered to the Parish Priest, Fr. Donncha Ó Donnchú that "there's work for you back there". A month later in Dunmanway the Parish Priest Canon Magner was shot on the street in a revenge execution by a British Auxiliary called Harte.

Leaving Lough Allua, the Lee flows past Inchigeela. At Curraheen, about two miles from Inchigeela, on the right hand side of the road there is to be found another monument to the suffering of the Irish under the Penal Laws. A rough stone altar stands below a crag. A metal plate reads "Altar of Penal Times, Mass was said here 1640-1800". From here, the Lee flows towards Macroom, where the Castle once housed Archbishop Rinuccini, Papal Legate to the Catholic Confederacy of the 17th century, and enters the magnificent Gearagh, a sort of Cork Everglades.

To the east of the Gearagh is Carrigadrohid, where the castle stands guard on a stone outcrop over the bridge and the river. The castle was built by the MacCarthys of Muskerry. In April of 1649, during Cromwell's rampage through Ireland an officer of his forces named Broghill laid siege to the castle. When the castle wouldn't surrender he brought the Bishop of Ross, Dr. Boetius Egan, out from imprisonment in Macroom and stood the elderly Bishop before the castle and threatened to hang him if the castle would not surrender. Bishop Egan shouted to the defenders to hold out. Enraged by the Bishop's defiance but true to his word, Broghill hanged the Bishop of Ross there and then before their eyes. The castle held out but not for long. The castle fell to a simpler trick. Broghill ordered his forces to cut down trees of about the size of cannon and had them yoked to oxen and deployed around the castle. By this means, they forced the defenders to parlay.

A happier story of Carrigadrohid relates to Donal O'Sullivan who caught a leprechaun one day. The leprechaun shouted for him to look out for MacCarthaigh's bull that was charging down upon them. Donal turned to look and the leprechaun escaped. A year later, Donal caught him again in a bush near the river. This time the leprechaun cried out to Donal to look at MacCarthaigh's daughter coming up the path. Donal coundn't resist, turned to look and the leprechaun escaped. A third time Donal caught him and the leprechaun shouted in vain about bulls and boars and goats and girls but Donal held him fast and got the pot of gold, with which he bought the bull and the castle and married the daughter.

[UPDATE] Since I posted this, my attention has been drawn to a poem that refers to the incident in 1649 that I mentioned above. I reproduce it here:

By Dr. Madden
Author of the "Lives of the United Irishmen"

The tramp of the trooper is heard at Macroom;
The soldiers of Cromwell are spared from Clonmel,
And Broghill - the merciless Broghill - is come,
On a missionof murder which pleases him well.

the wailing of women, the wild ululu,
Dread tidings from cabin to cabin convey;
But loud though the plaints and the shrieks which ensue,
The war-cry is louder of men in array.

In the park of Macroom there is gleaming of steel,
And glancing of lightning in looks on that field,
And swelling of bosoms with patriotic zeal,
And clenching of hands on the weapons they wield.

MacEgan, a prelate like Ambrose of old;
Foresakes not his flock when the spoiler is near,
The post of the pastor's in front of the fold,
When the wolf's on the plain and there's rapine to fear.

The danger is come, and the fortune of war,
Inclines to the side of oppression once more;
The people are brave - but, they fall; and the star,
Of their destiny sets in the darkness of yore.

MacEgan survives in the Philistine hands,
Of the lords of the Pale, and his death is decreed;
But the sentence is stayed by Lord Broghill's commands,
And the prisoner is dragged to his presence with speed.

"To Carraig-an-Driochead this instant," he cried,
"Prevail on your people in garrison there,
To yield, and at once in our mercy confide,
And your life I will pledge you my honour to spare."

"Your mercy! Your honour!" the prelate replied,
"I well know the worth of : my duty I know,
Lead on to the castle, and there, by your side,
With the blessing of God, what is meet I will do."

The orders are given, the prisoner is led,
To the castle, and 'round him are menacing hoards:
Undaunted, approaching the walls, at the head,
Of the troopers of Cromwell, he utters these words:

"Beward of the cockatrices - trust not the wiles,
Of the serpent, for perfidy skulks in its folds!
Beware of Lord Broghill the day that he smiles!
His mercy is murder! - his word never holds!"

"Remember, 'tis writ in our annals of blood,
Our countrymen never relied on the faith,
Of truce or of treaty, but treason ensued -
And the issue of every delusion was death!"

Thus nobly the patriot prelate sustained,
The ancient renown of his chivalrous race,
And the last of old Eoghan's descendants obtained,
For the name of Ui-Mani new lustre and grace.

He died on the scaffold, in front of those walls,
Where the blackness of ruin is seen from afar;
And the gloom of its desolate aspect recalls,
The blackest of Broghill's achievements in war!

[First Published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Blog in September, 2009]

Monday, 15 August 2016

Birthday Mass for Little Nellie of Holy God

Following on from the Mass organised for the anniversary of her death, we return to the Church of the Resurrection, Farranree, Cork City, to celebrate the birthday of Little Nellie of Holy God, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 24th August, with a Traditional Latin Mass.  Both to conform with the judgment of the Church and to encourage you to greater devotion and zeal, we are praying for a friend on her birthday.  She is not (yet) 'raised to the Altars' so there is no intention of anticipating the decision of the Church on her holiness or virtue.  We do not intend to give her any public honour to which she is not (yet) entitled.  We pray for the soul of Little Nellie as we would and should any other holy soul not yet canonized.  However, we earnestly encourage you to come and pray for her and to deepen your devotion to her cause that she may be our intercessor with Holy God.  Subito Santo.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

The Bandon Rebellion of 1689

I have already spoken of Bandon as a plantation town of fixed opinion. Indeed, a contingent of Bandonians fought at the Battle of the Boyne on the Williamite side attached to the 'Londonderry Auxiliaries.'

Upon the accession of King James II the town of Bandon was given a new charter and Teige McCarthy of Aglish was made Provost or Mayor of the town on 20th March, 1686. He then commenced to administer the oath of alliegance to James II and to levy troops for the King's cause. To add to the discomforture of the Bandonians, the charter document arrived in the town accompanied by a Priest, suggested to have brought a relic from the Chains of St. Peter. The Bandonians were aghast:

"That charter - that priest! Oh! If he had his will, he'd-! but that link from the iron chain-that symbol of unfettered thought. By the solemn League and Covenant, if I can lay my hands on it, I will make a bob of it to catch eels with!"

By 1st June, the new Provost was forced to issue this proclamation:

"Whereas, several summonses have of late been given to the inhabitants of this corporation to appear and take the oath accustomed for freemen and forasmuch as they refuse and contemn the said summonses. Now we, the said provost and majority of the burgesses, having taken into consideration the wrong and injury that happen unto the corporation thereby, do, and by our mutual assents and consents have ordered that every person, of what trade soever, shall pay six shillings and eightpence sterling per day for using every such trade or occupation, either private or public, after the fifteenth day of June next the date hereof; and the same to be levied on their goods and chattels, and to be disposed of according to law; or their bodies to be imprisoned, through the choice lying in the provost."

Bandon had been garrisoned by a troop of horse and two companies of foot under Captain Daniel O'Neill. On 16th of February, 1689, Captain O'Neill issued a proclamation calling on the inhabitants to deliver up all arms and ammunition within three days. The Bandonians hardly obeyed such a command and Lord Clancarthy promised to march from Cork about noon on the following Monday to bring with him six companies of foot.

The Bandonians were finally provoked by two coincident circumstances. The first was the landing of William of Orange to usurp the throne of the Catholic King James, the second was the declaration by O'Neill that on the Sunday after Clancarthy's arrival the Bandonians would witness the celebration of Mass in the parish church of Kilbrogan.

This was the last straw for the Bandonians, who revolted against the Royal officers. They gathered at the house of Katty Holt, described as a thin, skinny, wicked old woman, whose tongue never stopped unless she was asleep, and who, when she overheard them planning what they should do with the prisoners is said to have replied: "Prisoners! Oh, bring them to me, the popish varlets, and see if I don't scratch their eyes out!"

Early that Monday morning, before the arrival of Clancarthy, the Bandonians gathered. The signal for the beginning of the revolt was to be the ringing of the church bell but the sacristan Jack Sullivan would not ring it. Instead, his wife cried out "O Lord" Spare not the Philistines!" and rang the bell as a signal for the rebels who disarmed the troops while they still slept. Some managed to resist disarmed and eight of the Royal troops were killed, three of them Protestants. The remainder were driven out of the town by the North Gate. Even within living memory Bandonians were called "Black Mondays." For some time after the revolt Bandon was known as 'South Derry' marking the similarity of outlook of the Protestant populace, as well as the anti-Royalist actions taken by each only a few weeks apart.

However, the revolt did not last long as within a few hours the troops arrived from Cork led by the Earl of Clancarthy and Justin McCarthy, later Viscount Mountcashel and founder of the Irish Brigade in the service of France.

The town was invested and the Bandonians called upon to submit. The familiar reply was "No Surrender!" However, the town was take and in the articles of peace, those Bandonians who had disarmed the royalist garrison, under the command of Captain Daniel O'Neill were fined £1,000, "with the demolition of their walls, which were then razed to the ground, and never since rebuilt" Lord Tyrconnell thought they got off too cheap. In a letter, dated March 10th, 1689, he regrets that Clancarty had entered into a treaty with the people of Bandon until those who had formented and carried out the assault upon the garrison had been brought to justice. The rebels of Bandon were later tried and executed at the order of Chief Justice Nugent, son of the Earl of Westmeath and later Baron Nugent of Riverston.

The loyalty of Bandon was to be short-lived also and on 16th July, 1690, with the tide running against King James II, the Bandonians revolted again and declared:

"That the new charter brought and produced by Teige McCarthy, under the government and under the broad seal of this kingdom, had become null and void; and that the old charter be revived and stand in the former house, and elected and appointed Mr. John Nash to be provost of the borough for the year to come; he first taking the the usual oaths, and the oath of loyalty to our gracious sovereigns, William and Mary, King and Queen of England." It was to be more than two centuries before Bandon was to be freed from the shackles of Protestant invaders loyal to Protestant usurpers.

The Earl and later Duke of Marlborough landed at Kinsale in October and began to invest, one after the other, the positions still loyal to King James, the old fort of Kinsale and the Charlesfort. The Regiment of O'Discoll was thrown back from Castletown. The following January, Fox, the Williamite Governor of Cork, put all Papists in the County under a curfew. Limerick capitulated the following October and the last hope for the victory of King James - or for the peacable practice of the Catholic Faith - had gone. As soon as the peace was signed, 4,500 foot soldiers marched into Cork under the command of Patrick Sarsfield, remaining there about a month they set sail for Brest, landing on the 3rd December, 1691. However, those 4,500 represented only a vanguard of those loyal to King James and the cause of Catholic Ireland. It was estimated that between 1691 and 1745, the year of Fontenoy, 450,000 Irishmen died, not to mention those others who fought, in the service of France alone.

At Fontenoy, in rememberance of the honourable terms granted at Limerick that were breached before the ink was dry, the war cry of the Irish Brigade was: "Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach!" - "Remember Limerick and Saxon Perfidy!" We could add Cuimhnigh ar Droichead na Bandan agus feall na Sassonach!

First published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association blog in November, 2010.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Candlemas and Little Nellie of Holy God

Little Nellie of Holy God is no stranger to the readers of this blog.  Last year we made a pilgrimage to the grave of Little Nellie. She featured in our journal in 2014, and in my travel journal along the old railways of Cork back in 2011.  She is not (yet) a recognised Saint.  The cause for her canonisation has yet to begin - so far as I know - but I know that many in Cork and elsewhere will agree with me in saying subito Santo.  May she soon be a canonised Saint.  May the cause of her canonisation soon be opened.

So far as I know, this was the first time in living memory that an Anniversary Mass was organised by her friends for the little mystic of Cork.  She deserves our prayers.  If she is with Holy God in Heaven she can shower those graces on her devout clients and upon little children like herself and all those who need help to increase their devotion to Holy God in the Blessed Sacrament.  On the beautiful feast of Candlemas the members and friends of Blessed Thaddeus Catholic Heritage Association, including some great apostles of Little Nellie, attended a Traditional Latin Mass in the Church of the Resurrection, Farrenree, Cork City, already discussed on this blog as one of the Rosary Churches of Cork.  Our deep thanks to the community of Farranree, especially Fr. Walsh and Martha, for making us so welcome.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Anniversary Mass for Little Nellie of Holy God

When we made our annual pilgrimage to Cork's lovely North Cathedral last year to honour our heavenly patron, Blessed Thaddeus McCarthy, the white martyr of Cork, some of us took a detour to visit the grave of Ellen Organ, known with great affection as Little Nellie of Holy God.  This mystic child was a shining example of faith in the True Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament up to her death at the age of 4.

Her impact upon the Universal Church was explored in our journal in 2014, and I made reference to her in the course of my travel journel along the old railways of Cork back in 2011.  This year we are blessed to mark the Anniversary of her death, on the beautiful feast of Candlemas, the feast of the presentation of the child Jesus in the Temple, with a Traditional Latin Mass at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 2nd February, in the Church of the Resurrection, Farrenree, Cork City, which we have already discussed on this blog as one of the Rosary Churches of Cork.

So you are invited and most welcome to attend this Mass to pray for Little Nellie in the Church of the Resurrection, Farranree, on Tuesday evening.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Father Prout

Today is the birthday of Francis Sylvester Mahony known as 'Father Prout'. With a nom de blog like mine, the thought came to me that I ought to make some tribute to the author of The Bells of Shandon. As it turned out, his story brings side-lights into many of the stories that I have already published.

The Catholic Encyclopedia gives a good biography upon which the authors of wikipedia have been unable to improve and which the Diocese of Cork and Ross has adopted in its entirity. The most notable points are that having studied with the Jesuits in Clongowes Wood, he spent a few years as a novice with them and became a teacher of rhetoric at his own school, the great Canon Sheehan being one of his pupils, but he was dismissed for leading some of the students on a drunken outing to Celbridge. He studied in a variety of Continental Seminaries and was ordained at Lucca in Italy in 1832, against all advice. He returned to his native Diocese, where he served as a zealous and hardworking hospital chaplain during a cholera epidemic, where he won the life-long friendship and admiration of Father Mathew, the Capuchin Temperance campaigner. Among the ecclesiastical misadventures of 'Father Prout' was to be the attempt to have Father Mathew made Bishop of Cork!

The misadventure that led to Father Mahony's leaving the Diocese - and the active Priesthood - was his campaign to be given the living of 'the brickfield chapel,' that was to become St. Patrick's Church on the Lower Glanmire Road, then a chapel-of-ease to the Cathedral Parish. Father Mahony had been the principal fundraiser for the building of the new Church, which, I think you'll agree, is a fine building, and a magnificent achievement that was virtually the first new Church built in the City in two generations. The disappointment of Father Mahony, who had proved himself apostolic and capable, was understandable, especially when met with the immovable object of Bishop Murphy (r. 1815 - 1847).

He moved to London and held his own amid the literary greats of the time, although his name is now 'writ in water.' We read in The Catholic Encyclopedia: "Dowered with a retentive memory, irrepressible humor, large powers of expression, and a strongly satiric turn of mind, an omnivorous reader, well-trained in the Latin classics, thoroughly at home in the French and Italian languages, and a ready writer of rhythmic verse in English, Latin, and French, he produced... an extraordinary mixture of erudition, fancy, and wit, such as is practically without precise parallel in contemporary literature. The best of his work appeared in "Fraser's Magazine" during the first three years of his literary life. He translated largely from Horace, and the poets of France and Italy, including a complete and free metrical rendering of Gresset's famous mocking poem "Vert-Vert" and Jerome Vida's "Silkworm". But his newspaper correspondence from Rome and Paris is notable chiefly for the vigours of his criticisms upon men and measures, expressed, as these were, in most caustic language."

The Catholic Encyclopedia is not noted for its forgiving tone towards renegades but it expresses itself generously towards Mahony: "Although for thirty years Mahony did not exercise his priestly duties, he never wavered in his deep loyalty to the church, recited his Office daily, and received the last sacraments at the hands of his old friend, Abbé Rogerson, who left abundant testimony of his excellent dispositions."

His roguish humour caused him to adopt the name of a certain Father Prout of Watergrasshill as his nom de plume.

The original Father Prout had been forced from his Diocese (Cashel) on account of a wrangle with Archbishop Butler over his refusal to agree to the amalgamation of his Parish, which he described as "the greatest injustice since the partition of Poland." Fortunately, he was welcomed into the neighbouring Diocese of Cork by Dr. Moylan.

Mahony's fictional Father Prout seems no less sanguine, although he claimed to be a French-educated parish priest, the son of Dean Swift and Stella, who writes works such as The Apology for Lent in scholarly praise of fish!

When he died on 18th May, 1866, as we have read, fortified by the rites of Holy Mother Church, his body was taken back to Cork for a Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Patrick's Church "the church which", in the words of his biographers, "was the dream of his impetuous youth," as his biography says, from where he was taken to his family vault in St. Ann's Churchyard, Shandon, to be buried in the shadow of the bells he immortalized.

The Reliques of Father Prout, is perhaps his most famous work and it is in that collection that his true claim to fame, The Bells of Shandon, is to be found as part of The Rogueries of Tom Moore.

In my opinion, it is the true anthem of Cork, although the words of The Banks and Beautiful City were handed out to every school child in the city by the Lord Mayor last year! The Bells has none of those shameless hussies pressing wild daisies and Beautiful City lifts "the sweet bells of Shandon were dear to my mind." I may stand on a Shandon Belle ticket in the next mayoral election!

The clip consists of that fine ecumenical anthem Iníon an Phailitínigh (a Kerry song, mind you) and a verse of The Bells sung by Seán Ó Sé, whose own voice is another contender to be the true anthem of Cork!


With deep affection
And recollection
I often think of
Those Shandon bells,
Whose sounds so wild would,
In the days of childhood,
Fling round my cradle
Their magic spells.
On this I ponder
Where'er I wander,
And thus grow fonder,
Sweet Cork, of thee ;
With thy bells of Shandon,
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I've heard bells chiming
Full many a clime in,
Tolling sublime in
Cathedral shrine,
While at a glibe rate
Brass tongues would vibrate —
But all their music
Spoke naught like thine ;
For memory dwelling
On each proud swelling
Of thy belfry knelling
Its bold notes free,
Made the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

I've heard bells tolling
Old "Adrian's Mole" in,
Their thunder rolling
From the Vatican,
And cymbals glorious
Swinging uproarious
In the gorgeous turrets
Of Notre Dame ;
But thy sounds were sweeter
Than the dome of Peter
Flings o'er the Tiber,
Pealing solemnly ; —
O! the bells of Shandon
Sound far more grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

There 's a bell in Moscow,
While on tower and kiosk o !
In Saint Sophia
The Turkman gets,
And loud in air
Calls men to prayer
From the tapering summit
Of tall minarets.
Such empty phantom
I freely grant them ;
But there is an anthem
More dear to me, —
'Tis the bells of Shandon
That sound so grand on
The pleasant waters
Of the river Lee.

First published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association blog in December, 2010.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Forget not the Boys of Kilmichael

General Tom Barry's account of the Ambush at Kilmichael includes the following reference:

"...At 3 a.m. the men were told for the first time they were moving in to attack the Auxiliaries between Macroom and Dunmanway. Father O'Connell, P.P., Ballineen, had ridden out to hear the men's Confessions, and was waiting by the side of a ditch, some distance from the road. Silently, one by one, their rifles slung, the IRA went to him, and then returned to the ranks. Soon the priest came on the road. In a low voice, he spoke, 'Are the boys going to attach the Sassanach, Tom?' 'Yes, Father, we hope so.' He asked no further question, but said in a loud voice, 'Good luck, boys, I know you will win. God keep ye all. Now I will give you my Blessing.' He rode away into the darkness of the night..."

Patrick Canon O'Connell, was born on 4th March, 1864, at Knockane, Dunmanway, and was ordained a Priest at Maynooth on 24th June, 1890. He had been appointed Parish Priest of Enniskeane in June, 1918 and was created a Canon on 4th July, 1934. He died on 31st January, 1946. When he rode out to minister to the Volunteers that night in November, 1920, he risked not only his life but possibly the disapproval of his Bishop, Dr. Coholan, who, a fortnight later, excommunicated all - Volunteers and British Forces alike - participating in ambush, kidnap and murder. Canon O'Connell was to risk his life once again when he met the Volunteers in the dead of night at Castletown Kenneigh Graveyard to bury their dead.

As we remember 'in song and in story' the Boys of Kilmichael, let us also remember Canon O'Connell.

The Ballad of Kilmichael

Oh forget not the boys of Kilmichael,
Those brave boys both gallant and true.
They fought with Tom Barry's bold column,
And conquered the red, white and blue.

Whilst we honour in song and in story,
The memory of Pearse and McBride.
Whose names are illumined in glory,
With martyrs that long since have died.
Oh forget not the boys of Kilmichael,
Who feared not the ice and the foe.
Oh the day that they marched into battle,
They laid all the Black and Tans low.

On the twenty-eighth day of November,
The Tans left the town of Macroom.
They were seated in Crossley tenders,
Which brought them right into their doom.
They were on the high road to Kilmichael,
And never expecting to stall.
'Twas there that the boys of the column,
They made a clear sweep of them all.

The sun in the west it was sinking,
'Twas the eve of a cold winter's day.
When the Tans we were eagerly waiting,
Sailed into the spot where we lay.
And over the hill went the echo,
The peal of the rifles and guns.
And the smoke from their lorries bore tidings,
That the boys of Kilmichael had won.

The battle being over at twilight,
And there in that glen so obscure.
We threw down our rifles and bayonets,
And made our way back to Granure.
And high over Dunmanway town, my boys,
They sang of the brave and the true.
Of the men from Tom Barry's bold column,
Who conquered the red, white and blue.

There are some who will blush at the mention,
Of Connolly, Pearse and McBride.
And history's new scribes in derision,
The pages of valour deny.
But sure here's to the boys who cried, Freedom!
When Ireland was nailed to the mast.
And they fought with Tom Barry's bold column,
To give us our freedom at last.

So forget not the boys of Kilmichael,
Those brave boys both gallant and true.
They fought 'neath the green flag of Erin,
And conquered the red, white and blue.
First published on the St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association blog in November, 2010.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Saint Colman of Cloyne (24th November)

From Fr. Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy, (1854), at pages 246 and following:


The first of these sees was founded by Saint Colman about the year 580. Colman was of royal extraction by his father's side whose name was Lenine or Lenin and brother to one of the Saints Bridget. He is sometimes surnamed Mitine, whence it is to be inferred that he was a native of the district called Muskerry in the county of Cork. The time of his birth is not known but it was probably about the year 522. He seems to have devoted his early years to the study of poetry and we are assured that he was domestic poet to the prince Aodh Caomh, who was raised to the throne of Cashel about the middle of the sixth century, and that he was present, together with Brendan of Clonfert, at his inauguration in Maghfemyn between Cashel and Clonmel. Colman soon after, in accordance with the advice of Saint Brendan, renounced his worldly pursuits and is said to have repaired to the school of St Jarlath at Tuam. Some say that he was the disciple of St. Finbarr of Cork but it is not likely as Colman must have been much older. Colman died according to some in the year 601 or to others in 604. His festival is marked at the 24th of November. It appears that St. Colman became an eminent scholar as he has left a life of St. Senan of Inniscathy written in Irish metre and in an elegant style. He was also a great proficient in the science of the saints.

[Another account of St. Colman's life is to be found here.]

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Pilgrimage to the grave of Little Nellie of Holy God

To conclude our pilgrimage to Cork City we made a unique and precious pilgrimage to the grave of Little Nellie of Holy God.  This heroic young soul should be know to all but may not yet be known to you.  If you don't know of her, you can find accounts of her life here, here and here.

Fr. Willie Doyle, S.J., visited her grave in 1911.  His account can be found here.

Little Nellie should be better known, better loved, better honoured.  Her memory, like her earthly remains, seems to suffer the same fate as Holy God abandoned in the tabernacle.