Tuesday, 10 October 2017


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Ratoath in the barony to which it gives name the ruins of which are scarcely perceptible The abbey of St Mary Magdalene near this town which existed in 1456 was found seized in the year 1538 of forty acres of land annual value 6s 8d Chantry in the parish church of St Thomas the Apostle was found contrary to the statute to have acquired possessions to the value of thirty shillings sterling

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Multyfarnam Friary

From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Multifarnam in the barony of Corkery and on the river Gaine. William Delamar founded the Franciscan monastery of Multifernam in the year 1236.

AD 1460 it was reformed by the strict observants.

AD 1529 a provincial chapter had been held here. In the eighth of Henry VIII, the convent of Multifarnam and its appurtenances, a water mill and thirty acres of arable land, were granted to Edmund Field, Patrick Clynch and Philip Pentenoy at a fine of £80 and an annual rent of 4s.

When the fury of the storm which Henry and his daughter Elizabeth had evoked somewhat abated, this convent was again placed in the possession of the Franciscans and continued in their hands during the reign of Charles I until it was consigned to the flames by the Rochforts, a powerful family in the country. The walls of the cloister are still complete while the surrounding ruins with the steeple rising from a small arch to a height nearly of one hundred feet and situated on the borders of a delightful lake contribute to render its scenery both picturesque and magnificent. By the united exertions of a spirited public this abbey has been lately rebuilt and is now finished in a style worthy of its former greatness. The convent of Multifarnam stands and its abbey flourishes while the spoiler and the plunderer have disappeared and have been laid low in the dust.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Kinnegad

The excellent website 'Buildings of Ireland' describes the Kinnegad Parish Church as follows: 

Detached Roman Catholic church on cruciform plan, built 1904-09, comprising four-bay nave, two bay transepts to east and west and a three-stage tower on square-plan with broached spire over, offset, to east end of entrance front (south). Single-bay single-storey gable-fronted entrance porch to the centre of entrance façade (south) and with a buttress to the southeast corner of the nave rising to a pinnacle over. Pitched natural slate roofs with decorative clay ridge tiles, raised verges with cut stone copping, cast-iron rainwater goods and cut stone cross finials. Iron Celtic cross finial to spire. Constructed of rock-faced limestone with ashlar limestone detailing. Paired pointed-arch headed lancet windows to the nave, separated by clasping buttress, with three lancet openings to gable ends of transepts. Two twin-light Geometric windows with hoodmouldings over to entrance front with quatrefoil window over to gable apex. Rose windows over pointed-arched door openings to east and west ends of transepts (south facing elevations). Attached tower has cusped lancets to first two stages with open belfry over. Open gablets with Geometric tracery to broached spire. Square-headed doorcase set in pointed-arched recess to entrance porch with timber double-doors flanked by paired marble colonnettes with carved stone panel above. Entrance porch flanked by cusped lancets with hoodmouldings over. Interior retains original marble altar goods and has stained glass windows by Mayer of Munich. Set slightly back from road in a prominent location in the centre of Kinnegad with parochial house (15316006) adjacent to north. Landscaped area to west with marble statue set on raised plinth, cast-iron gates and railings to east side of church. Former Roman Catholic church on cruciform to the rear (north), now roofless.

Appraisal A substantial church, which retains its early form, character and fabric. This church was built to designs by T. F. McNamara (1867-1947), a noteworthy architect of his day. McNamara also designed the Roman Catholic church in Castletown Geoghegan (1885) and completed the new Roman Catholic church in Ballynahowen (1902), amongst other commissions. The church in Kinnegad is built in a subdued Gothic Revival-style, which was rather old fashioned for the date of construction. This church impresses principally with its scale and it dominates the centre of Kinnegad. The combination of the rock-faced walls and the ashlar window and door surrounds, creates textural variation. The severity of the lancet windows is softened by the addition of rose windows to both transepts and the Geometric tracery to the entrance facade. This mixture of window styles, along with the ornate entrance door, adds an artistic quality to the church's façade. The interior retains the original altar fittings, some good quality mosaic tiling and is well lit by the stained glass windows by Mayer of Munich. This church replaced an earlier Roman Catholic church in Kinnegad, built c.1820, the roofless shell of which can still be found a short distance to the north behind the parochial house. The remains of this modestly scaled former church to the rear adds considerably to this composition and it provides an interesting contrast with the present edifice in terms and scale and decoration, reflecting the increasing power, wealth and influence of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland throughout the nineteenth century. The present church building occupies a prominent location on Main Street and, together with the landscaped area to the west side of the church and in front of the parochial house, makes an important contribution to the townscape in this location. The present church was built on the site of a former market house (map 1838).

Monday, 7 August 2017


From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Becmore in the barony of Duleek and about two miles south of Drogheda. Here are some remains of an ancient building which tradition informs us was a preceptory belonging to Kilmainham. Beaubec in the same direction as Beamore from Drogheda. In the reign of King John, Walter do Lacie, lord of Meath, did grant to the church of St. Mary and St. Lawrence of Beaubec all his land situate in Killokeran together with the liberty of keeping a boat free of toll.

A.D. 1332 King Edward I granted a license to the abbot of Beaubec in Normandy to assign to the abbot of Furnes the manor of Beaubec near Drogheda together with three messuages, sixty acres and a half of land and fifty seven shillings and nine pence annual rent arising from Marinston Renneles and the town of Drogheda on both sides of the river, also a fishery in the Boyne saving however to the lords of the fee their proper services.
A.D. 1348 King Edward in a charter dated May 4th recites and repeats the grant of Walter de Lacie and farther says that King Henry III had confirmed the same and that the abbot of Beaubec of the Cistercian order had afterwards with the king's license granted the aforesaid manor of Beaubec to the abbot of Furnes.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ballyboggan Abbey

From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Holy Trinity Abbey, Ballyboggan

Ballybogan De laude Dei in the barony of Moysinrath and on the river Boyne. Jordan Comin founded this priory for Augustinians in the twelfth century under the invocation of the Holy Trinity.

A.D. 1446 The priory was consumed by fire.
A.D. 1447 the prior of this house died of the plague.
A.D. 1537 Thomas Bermingham was the last prior. A considerable number of the ancient monasteries of the kingdom about the period of the foundation of Ballybogan adopted the rule of the canons regular of St. Augustine and were much diffused over Ireland before the beginning of the thirteenth century.

This establishment was surrendered in the nineteenth of Henry VIII when its possessions were found to consist of five thousand, two hundred acres of arable land in various places. This priory with various parcels of its property was granted to Sir William Bermingham at an annual rent of £4 3s 4d. This was an excellent mode of making good sound Protestants stern and uncompromising defenders of British rule and Protestant ascendancy in unfortunate Ireland. However this be, the savage tyranny of the English government in subjugating the oppressed Catholics of Ireland has cost that proud nation millions of treasure and Elizabeth, with all her resources, could not subdue two provinces, Ulster and Connaught, until the government of her deputy Mountjoy perceived as well as carried out a short method of doing so by burning and destroying the crops of the Irish.

A.D. 1538 this year a crucifix which was held in great veneration was publicly burned.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

National Latin Mass Pilgrimage to Armagh 2017

To mark the 10th Anniversary of Summorum Pontificum the Catholic Heritage Association of Ireland made our second pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh.  A report of the first pilgrimage can be read here.  It was a truly National Pilgrimage with members coming from Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Louth, Meath, Monaghan, Wexford and Wicklow - the Four Provinces of Ireland all represented - to assist at Holy Mass and attend our Annual General Meeting held afterwards in the Synod Hall attached to the Cathedral.

However, one element of the pilgrimage above all made it a most blessed occasion, the presence of His Eminence Seán, Cardinal Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, to celebrate the Mass.  In his homily, Cardinal Brady reminded the congregation that the Traditional Latin Mass had been the Mass of his Altar service, of his First Communion and Confirmation, and of his Ordination and his First Mass.  He also reminded us that this day, the feast of St. John the Baptist, was his own feast day.  Cardinal Brady is to attend the Consistory on 28th June with Our Holy Father, Pope Francis.  His Eminence was assisted by Fr. Aidan McCann, C.C., who was ordained in the Cathedral only two years ago.  It was a great privilege and joy for the members and friends of the Catholic Heritage Association to share so many grace-filled associations with Cardinal Brady and Fr. McCann and the Armagh Cathedral community.

Monday, 27 March 2017

The Medieval Bishops of Meath

From Thomas Walsh's History of the Irish Hierarchy:

Eugene, bishop of Meath, succeeded and sat about twenty years. Before his death he assumed the style which his successors have since used. His predecessor Idunan adopted the same title. He succeeded in 1174 and died 1194.
Simon Rochfort was the first Englishman who governed this see and was consecrated about the year 1194. He died in the year 1224. having conducted himself in the government of his see with fidelity wisdom and integrity. Was of such an humble and meek behavior that he acquired the reputation of being a most excellent prelate.
Deodatus was elected bishop in 1224 and obtained the royal assent on the 29th August following. Some say he died before consecration and therefore do not reckon him among the bishops of this see. He died in the year 1226.
Ralph le Petit succeeded in 1227. He was archdeacon of Meath, a man of great gravity and wisdom. He died advanced in years about the fourth year of his consecration in 1230.
Richard de la Corner, canon of St. Patrick's, Dublin, succeeded in 1230, was confirmed by King Henry III and consecrated at Drogheda in St. Peter's church in 1232. He died in the year 1250.
Hugh de Taghmon succeeded in 1250. He is styled a man of piety and of venerable life. To this prelate Maurice Fitz Maurice, Lord Justice of Ireland, and John de Sanford, Escheator of Ireland, Edward I issued a commission to administer the oath of allegiance to the nobility and to the commonalty of Ireland. Having governed the See about thirty one years, he died in January 1281 and was buried at Mullingar.
Thomas St. Leger succeeded in 1287, was born of an illustrious family and was adorned by his manners. He was Archdeacon of Kells. Not having the assent of his metropolitan, he appealed to Rome. Another being preferred by the Primate, both parties resigned their claims into the hands of the Pope who, in the plenitude of apostolic power, chose Thomas St. Leger. He was not consecrated till the 3d of November, 1281. He was careful of his temporal privileges and equally so of his spiritual concerns. He enjoyed bad health before his death in December 1320. He ruled over his diocese thirty eight years.
John O'Carroll succeeded in 1321, was Dean and Bishop of Cork and was translated by the Pope to the See of Meath in the year 1321. He died in London about the beginning of August, 1329, on his return from Avignon.
William de Paul, a Carmelite Friar and sometime Provincial of his Order in England and Scotland, in token of his singular piety great learning wisdom and dexterity in managing affairs, succeeded as Bishop of Meath, 1327 by provision of the Pope, was consecrated at Avignon. He died in July, 1349, having sat twenty two years.
William St. Leger succeeded in 1350, was Archdeacon of Meath, was elected by the clergy and ratified by Bull of Pope Clement VI, was consecrated in England on the 2d of May, 1350, and died AD 1352.
Nicholas Allen succeeded in 1353, was Abbot of the Monastery of St. Thomas near Dublin, was consecrated in the beginning of this year. He was Lord High Treasurer of Ireland and took oath of office on the 10th of March, 1357. He died on the 5th of January, 1366.
Stephen de Valle or Wall succeeded in 1369, was Dean of Limerick and promoted by the Pope, consecrated in 1360. He sat in the See nine years and became Lord High Chancellor of Ireland. He died intestate at Oxford on the 10th of November, 1379.
William Andrew succeeded in 1380, was an English Dominican and Doctor of Divinity, was consecrated Bishop of Achrony in the year 1374, and was by Pope Urban VI translated to this see. He was distinguished for wisdom and learning. He died five years after his translation AD 1385.
Alexander de Balscot was successor in 1386. A canon of St Canice's Church, he was promoted to the See of Ossory and translated to Meath on the 14th of December, 1386. He was Lord High Treasurer of Ireland, executed the duties of his office with fidelity, had the reputation of a good bishop, died at Ardbraccan on the 10th of November, 1400, and was buried at Trim in St. Mary's Abbey.
Robert Montain, Rector of the Church of Kildalky, succeeded by the provision of the Pope in 1402. He sat ten years and died on the 24th May, AD 1412.
Edward Danteey, Archdeacon of Cornwall, was promoted to the See by Pope John XXII in the year 1413. He presided over sixteen years and was during that period Lord High Treasurer of Ireland and Deputy Viceroy of the Kingdom. He was falsely accused of theft and arraigned before the Parliament. His innocence was afterwards established by the voluntary and public confession of an accomplice in the robbery. Having solicited the Bishop's pardon, who forgave him, he was referred to the Primate for absolution. He died on the 4th of January, AD 1429.
William Hadsor was promoted in 1430 by the Pope and consecrated. He died on Ascension Day 1434. The same month that Bishop Dantsey died.
Thomas Scurlock, Prior of the Abbey of St. Peter, Newtown, near Trim, was elected by the clergy. He hastened to Rome to obtain the Pope's confirmation, if consecrated he survived but a short time.
William Silk, Doctor of Canon Law, Official of the Ecclesiastical Court of Meath and Rector of Killeen, succeeded in 1434. Application was made to the Pope to exonerate him from his pastoral charge on account of old age. He died at Ardbraccan on the 9th of May, 1450, and was buried in the church of St. Mary at Killeen.
Edmund Ouldhall, a Carmelite of Norwich, succeeded to the See in 1450. He died at Ardbraccan on the 9th or 29th of August, 1459, and was buried in the church of that place.
William Sherwood succeeded by provision of Pope Pius II and was consecrated in 1460. He was some time Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and afterwards Lord Chancellor. He died in Dublin on the 3d of December, 1482, and was buried in the Abbey Church of SS, Peter and Paul at Newtown near Trim. He presided over the See twenty two years.
John Payne, a Dominican and Doctor of Divinity, was promoted to the See by Pope Scxtus IV on the 17th of March, 1483, and installed on the 4th of August following. He presided over twenty three years, was some time Master of the Rolls. He was a prelate in great esteem for his alms deeds and hospitality. He died on the 6th of March, 1506, and was buried at Dublin in a monastery of his own order.
William Rokeby, an Englishman, Doctor of the Canon Law, was advanced to this See by Pope Julius II in 1507, was Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1498 and, on his promotion to the See of Meath, was called into the Privy Council, was translated to Dublin by the same Pope, where he died on the 20th of November, 1521. He resigned in 1511.
Hugh Inge, an Englishman, Doctor of Divinity, was promoted by the Pope in 1512, was translated to Dublin, where his name will occur to notice.
Richard Wilson, an Englishman succeeded by provision of the Pope in 1523 and sat about six years.  He died in 1529.
Edward Staples, a native of Lincolnshire, succeeded by provision of Pope Clement VII in the year 1530. He was deprived by Queen Mary on the 9th of June 1554 for having joined in the changes of religion, &c.
William Walsh, Doctor of Divinity and a native of Waterford, was on the 18th of October, 1554, appointed to the See. In maintaining the purity of faith, William stood forth conspicuous.  He was deprived by Queen Elizabeth/ He died at Complute in Spain and was there interred in a monastery of his own order, the Cistercian. His epitaph briefly describes his merits. 'Here lieth William Walsh a Cistercian Monk and Bishop of Meath who having suffered imprisonment and many other hardships for thirteen years at last died in banishment.'

Thomas Dease, the ablest canonist of the Irish Church, died AD 1649.
Anthony Geoghegan died AD 1660.
Patrick Plunkett died AD 1671.
Patrick Cusack died AD 1690.
Luke Fagan translated to Dublin.
Stephen MacEogan, translated from Clonmacnois in 1729, he died on the 30th of May. AD 1756. Bishop Geoghegan died while coadjutor.
Patrick Joseph Plunkett was consecrated in 1779, died AD 1829.
Robert Logan, coadjutor in 1824, died AD 1830.
John Cantwell consecrated in 1830 still happily presides Bishop of Meath.