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Archdiocese ; occupies about sixty miles of the middle eastern coast of Ireland, and penetrates inland, about forty-six miles, including all the County of Dublin, nearly all of Wicklow, and parts of Kildare and Wexford, with three suffragans: Kildare and Leighlin, Ferns, and Ossory. It covers an area of 698,277 statute acres.

Ptolemy, who flourished in the first half of the second century, on his famous map places Eblana civitas under the same parallel of latitude as the present city of Dublin. The first mention of Duibhlinn in any extant Irish chronicles is found in the "Annals of the Four Masters", under date of 291, where the name, which in English signifies a black pool, is quoted as that of a river on the bank of which a battle was fought by the King of Ireland against the Leinstermen. A river still empties into the Liffey at Dublin, now known as the Poddle River, but formerly designated the Pool or Pole, clearly a survival of the earlier Black-Pool. The natives distinguished the locality as Ath-Cliath , i.e. "The Ford of Hurdles", from the wicker bridge or ford by which the great road from Tara was conducted across the Liffey into Cualann (South County Dublin and Wicklow).

In 852, when Aulaf (Olaf) the Dane invaded Ireland and subjected all the contending tribes of Danes, he erected a fortress on the triangle of elevated land formed by the confluence of the Duibhlinn with the Liffey, a site now occupied by Dublin Castle. This fortress, taking its name from the river over which it stood, was called in Scandinavian Dyflin . In Anglo-Norman charters of the time of Henry II it became Duvelina ; the legal scribes of King John brought it nearer to the name Dublin, which it has ever since retained. The fortress once established, there is no difficulty in imagining a town or city growing up and clustering around it, which after some time was furnished with a defensive wall, some remnants of which are yet visible.


The Christian Faith was preached in this territory, first by Palladius and then by St. Patrick. The stay of Palladius in Ireland was very short, scarcely a year, yet during that brief space he established three Christian communities, Teach-Renan (Tigroney), and Donard in County Wicklow, with Ceille-Finne in County Kildare. When the death of Palladius was known at Rome in 431, Patrick was immediately selected and consecrated bishop for this Irish mission. To him, therefore, thenceforth regarded as the Apostle of Ireland, the See of Dublin looks as to its founder. His first visit after brief landings at Wicklow, Malahide, and Holmpatrick, was to his old slave-master in the northern parts of the country. But so soon as he was able to gain the sanction of Leoghaire, King of Ireland, to preach the Gospel throughout the land, he visited every part of the island and made innumerable converts. At Kilcullen, in the Dublin Diocese, he established a bishop, and another at Lusk; while there are few parishes in the diocese that do not lay claim to a visit from him. Soon after his death in 492, the monastic system, which Patrick had himself partly initiated, became the settled form of ecclesiastical organisation in Ireland. The number of tribes into which the country was divided, and the fierce inter-tribal jealousy that prevailed at all times, rendered this system the more desirable. Each tribe had its own monastic establishment with a portion of the tribe lands set apart for its endowment, and in most of these centres a bishop was to be found, frequently (but not necessarily) the ruler of the community. It was in such establishments that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction was centred. In this way we meet mention from time to time of bishops at Kilcullen, Lusk, Swords, Finglas, Glendalough, Taney, Clondalkin, Castledermot, and Bray. We have no existing records and but scant traditions of any monastic establishment known as Duibhlinn ; but a tribe did lie scattered along the valley of the Coombe, which may have taken its name, as did the Danish fortress later on, from the Duibhlinn which meandered through its midst. The old church-dedications, which were certainly Celtic, of Patrick, Bridget, Kevin, and MacTaill in this very neighbourhood, would point to such a conclusion. Such a tribe would undoubtedly have had its monastery with its resident bishop. If this surmise be correct, it would help to explain a list of bishops given in Harris's edition of Ware's "Antiquities of Ireland ", and described as Bishops of Dublin; whilst from the invariable practice they all seem to have adopted, of embarking in some foreign missionary enterprise, they can scarcely be regarded as diocesan bishops in the accepted sense of the term, i.e. as prelates wedded to their sees.

The first of these bishops that we meet with is St. Livinus. He travelled into Belgium, where he converted many, and was at length crowned with martyrdom, 12 November, 663, in which month his feast is celebrated. To him succeeded Disibod, who being driven out by violence went to Germany, and after forty years labour in the neighbourhood of Disibodenberg named after him, died a very holy death. He flourished about 675. St. Wiro is next. He emulated the example of Livinus and passed over into Gaul. The at the request of Pepin of Heristal, he established himself about 700 at Roermond in Holland, where a portion of his relics is preserved under the high altar the cathedral dedicated to him. St. Gualafer is mentioned as bishop in the eighth century, but of him nothing is known except that he baptised and instructed his successor, who figures more conspicuously. St. Rumold was certainly Irish-born, and reputed to have been some time Bishop of Dublin. He cherished an ardent desire for martyrdom, and setting out for Rome there received the pope's blessing. On his return journey he preached at Mechlin with great zeal and success. Having had occasion to rebuke certain public sinners , he met at their hands the longed-for martyrdom. He is the patron of Mechlin, whose splendid cathedral is dedicated to him, and his relics are preserved there in a sumptuous silver shrine. St. Sedulius, who died in 785, is given by some writers as " Bishop of Dublin", by others as " Abbot of Dublin". In all probability he filled both offices. In or about 890 there is mention of Cormac as bishop. Ware could learn nothing about him. D' Alton says he was bishop when Gregory, King of Scotland, besieged and captured Dublin.


The year 815 is commonly assigned as the date when Scandinavian invaders began to make permanent settlements in Ireland. Hitherto their repeated visits had been mere piratical expeditions. They landed, plundered, and departed. But that year Turgesius and his followers came to stay. The "Annals of the Four Masters" tell us that in 849 the Duibhgoill or "black foreigners" arrived at Ath Cliath and made a great slaughter of the Finngoill or "white foreigners". In 850 the former gained a still more decisive victory. Finally in 852 Aulaf (Olaf) invaded Ireland, "and all the foreign tribes submitted to him". Thus was founded the Danish city and kingdom of Dublin. Aulaf was succeeded by Ivar in 870, and as the latter was at the same time King of Northumbria, this dual sovereignty of the Danish kings of Dublin was with occasional brief interruptions maintained throughout a period of nearly a century and a half. Paganism was of course the cult of these rude Norsemen. They sedulously practised the worship of Thor and Woden, and thus during a great portion of their prolonged rule in Dublin its Christian history becomes a blank, varied at intervals by doleful recitals of the burning and plundering of celebrated monasteries, such as Glendalough, Lusk, Swords, Clondalkin, etc. The first of the Danish kings to embrace Christianity was Sitric, who was baptized in England, and married King Athelstan's daughter in 925. But he very soon abjured the Faith, abandoned his wife, and died a pagan. His son, however, Aulaf Cuarann, on visiting England, was there converted in 943, and received at baptism by King Edmund. He remained firm in the Faith, and going to Iona on a pilgrimage in 980, died there "after penance and a good life". It was the conversion of this Aulaf and his family, aided by the efforts of Northumbrian monks whom he had brought over with him, that led to the conversion of the Danes of Dublin which chroniclers assign to 948.

The great victory won by King Brian Boru on the plain of Clontarf in 1014 broke for ever the power of the Danes in Ireland, but it did not dispossess them of Dublin. Their kings continued to rule there for a century and a half; nevertheless, the completeness of the victory, together with the civilising effects of Christianity, disposed the contending races to more friendly intercourse, and enabled Celt and Dane henceforward to live tog ether in comparative peace. In 1038, little more than twenty years after the battle of Clontarf, we find another King Sitric (II) at Dublin, who, seeing that his subjects had all become Christians, was moved to organise the Church on a proper hierarchical basis. Wherefore in that year he founded and endowed a cathedral dedicated to the Holy Trinity (since Queen Elizabeth's time appropriated to Protestant worship and known as Christ Church ). To minister in his cathedral he had a bishop appointed and consecrated ; with this first bishop of the Danish Christians in Dublin, the See of Dublin may be said to have been formally founded. Having received their Christianity from Northumbria, the Danes looked to Canterbury for their spiritual government; and had their first bishop, Donatus, consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Except in faith and general discipline they were in no way identified with the rest of Christian Ireland.

Donatus died in 1074 and was succeeded by Patrick, who bore commendatory letters to Lanfranc and was consecrated by him in St. Paul's, London. After ruling the diocese for about ten years he perished at sea in 1084. Donat O'Haingly, evidently an Irishman, came next. He was a Benedictine monk in Lanfranc's monastery at Canterbury. By consent of the king and of the clergy of Dublin he was consecrated by Lanfranc in 1085. He died of the plague in 1095. To him succeeded his nephew Samuel O'Haingly, a Benedictine monk of St. Alban's . He was consecrated at Winchester by Saint Anselm on the Sunday after Easter, 1096, and died in 1121. It was to this prelate that St. Anselm administered the sharp rebuke for having removed the monks from his church, from which we may infer that it was at this period that a chapter of secular canons was established in the cathedral, its clergy having been previously monastic. Gregory was chosen as successor. He is described as a wise man and well skilled in languages. He was consecrated at Lambeth by Ralph, Archbishop of Canterbury.


During Gregory's incumbency great and far-reaching changes were wrought in the ecclesiastical organisation of Ireland. Up to this time, except in the Danish towns of Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick, the old system of centring jurisdiction in the monastery of the clan with a bishop resident, almost universally prevailed, but Gillebert (Gilbert), Bishop of Limerick, who had travelled much, and had made the acquaintance of St. Anselm , received a strong letter from the latter exhorting him to do his utmost, in union with the Irish bishops, to reform certain abuses and bring the system of ecclesiastical government more into conformity with the prevailing practice of Christendom. Whereupon Gillebert having received legatine powers from Paschal II convoked a synod which met at Rath-Breassail in 1118. At this synod the number of sees was fixed at twenty-four, Dublin excluded. Glendalough, the church founded by St. Kevin in the sixth century, was definitely erected into a diocese, but the Danish See of Dublin was ignored, or if referred to, it is described a being in the Diocese of Glendalough, for the latter came up to the very walls of Dublin and surrounded them on all sides. St. Malachy, consecrated Bishop of Connor about 1127, followed up the work of Gillebert, and on the occasion of a journey to Rome, besought Innocent II to constitute the Bishops of Armagh and Cashel metropolitans and transmit the pallium to them. Before his request could be fully considered, Malachy on a second journey fell sick on the way, and died at Clairvaux in the arms of St. Bernard (1148). The object of his journey, however, was not lost sight of, and in 1151, Eugene III commissioned Cardinal Paparo to proceed to Ireland and establish there four metropolitans, giving him the palliums with which each was to be invested. The cardinal on his arrival convoked a general synod at Kells in 1152. At this synod Armagh, Dublin, Cashel, and Tuam, were created archiepiscopal sees, with canonical jurisdiction over their suffragans, and each of the new archbishops received the pallium. In this way Gregory became the first Archbishop of Dublin, and had assigned to him as suffragans the Sees of Kildare, Ossory, Leighlin, Ferns, and Glendalough In a document drawn up by the then Archbishop of Tuam, in 1214 the cardinal is described as finding on his arrival in Ireland, a bishop dwelling in Dublin, who at the time exercised his episcopal office within the walls. "He found in the same Diocese another church in the mountains, which likewise had the name of a city [ Glendalough ] and had a certain chorepiscopus . But he delivered the pallium to Dublin which was the best city and appointed that the diocese [ Glendalough ] in which both these cities were should be divided, and that one part thereof should fall to the metropolitan." This severed the North County Dublin known as Fingall, from Glendalough Diocese and annexed it to Dublin. Thus was the Church in Ireland reorganised in strict hierarchical form, and all dependence upon Canterbury was brought to an end.

Archbishop Gregory died in 1161 and was buried in the Holy Trinity Cathedral. To him succeeded Lorcan (latinized Laurentius ) O'Toole, son of Muriartach, Prince of Imaile. His mother was an O' Byrne, so that he was Irish of the Irish. Entrusted at an early age to the care of the Bishop of Glendalough he grew up a pious and exemplary youth and eventually became a monk there. When but twenty-five years old he was elected abbot and a few years later bishop of the see. This choice, however, he successfully withstood. But his resistance did not long avail him. As soon as the See of Dublin was vacated both clergy and people turned their eyes on the Abbot of Glendalough and would not be refused. He was consecrated in Dublin cathedral by Gelasius of Armagh in 1162. His first act was to induce the canons of his chapter to become canons regular according to the rule of the priory of Aroasia. He himself assumed the religious habit with them and scrupulously conformed to the rule. He was indefatigable in his work and boundless in his charity. In 1167 he attended a great convention held at Athboy at the request of King Roderic O'Conor, and helped there to enact several decrees affecting ecclesiastical discipline. In the following year the ill-starred Dermot MacMurrough set out for England to negotiate the betrayal of his country. In 1169 the first expedition of the Anglo-Normans landed in Ireland, and Wexford and Waterford soon fell before them. They then marched on Dublin, and in this expedition Strongbow was joined by the army of Dermot. Hasculf, the Danish king, made a sturdy defence, but eventually the city was captured and Hasculf and his followers escaped to their ships. In 1171 they returned with a number of Norwegians collected at Orkney and the Isles, and attacked the eastern gate of the city. St. Laurence implored King Roderic to come to their aid; the latter did assemble an army, but their operations were ineffective, and the grip of the Norman fastened on Dublin, never again to be relaxed. King Henry II of England landed this same year, and received at Dublin the fealty of most of the native princes. Thenceforward Ireland became an appendage of the English Crown.

Early in the following year a synod was held in Cashel by order of Henry, at which Laurence assisted and where among other disciplinary regulations, the system of tithes was introduced, as is commonly believed. With the aid of Strongbow and other Norman chiefs he was enabled to enlarge and beautify Christ Church, i.e. Holy Trinity Cathedral, and the transepts and one bay of the choir remain to this day evidences of his work. In 1177 Cardinal Vivian arrived in Ireland as papal legate, summoned a meeting of bishops and abbots, and inculcated obedience to the conquerors. In 1179 Archbishop Laurence went to Rome to attend the Third General Council of the Lateran under Alexander III. The pope received him with marked kindness, took his see under his protection, confirmed its possessions, and extended its boundaries on the south as far as Bray. He also appointed him his legate in Ireland. Some time in 1180 the archbishop again crossed to England for the purpose of interviewing King Henry in the interests of his people, but Henry had no wish to see him and fled into Normandy. Laurence, nothing daunted, quickly pursued him, but had scarcely landed on the Norman coast when he fell seriously ill. He asked to be brought to the community of Canons Regular established at Eu, and there died peacefully 14 November, 1180. He was canonised by Honorius III in 1226, and his relics, being transferred, were placed over the high altar in a costly shrine where they are still devoutly venerated. His feast is celebrated in Dublin each recurring 14 November with great pomp and solemnity, and a parish church in a city is specially dedicated to him.


With the passing of St. Laurence, the Irish character of the newly constructed hierarchy, as far as Dublin was concerned was brought to a premature close. The conquerors brought with them a colony of Bristol men and settled them in Dublin, and also brought all their feudal privileges and customs, prominent among which was the right of the English monarch to nominate to vacant sees within his dominion, this with the concurrence of the Holy See. In the exercise of this prerogative, Henry II named John Comyn, an Englishman, as successor to Laurence O'Toole. Henceforward, for full four centuries, the see was occupied by an unbroken line of twenty-five archbishops, all English men, born, bred, and beneficed in England. Comyn proceeded to Rome where he was first ordained priest, and then consecrated bishop, by Lucius III at Velletri. He did not take up his residence in Dublin until 1184. The king conferred additional lands upon him to be held in barony tenure, by virtue of which he became a Lord of Parliament. In 1185 he received Prince John on his landing in Ireland, and in the same year the Diocese of Glendalough was united to Dublin; this union, however, was not to take effect until after the death of the governing bishop, William Piro. In 1186 he assembled a provincial synod in Christ Church cathedral at which several important canons were enacted. In 1190 he undertook the work of building a new church just outside the city wall. He erected it on the site of an old Celtic church dedicated to St. Patrick, but preserved the original dedication and opened it with great solemnity on Patrick's Day, 1191. In connection with this church he founded and endowed a collegiate chapter of thirteen canons and erected an episcopal residence close by, which became known as St. Sepulchre's.

Archbishop Comyn died in 1212 and was succeeded by Henry de Loundres, Archdeacon of Stafford. Two years later William Piro, Bishop of Glendalough, died, whereupon the union of the sees promised by King John took place. De Loundres's principal work was the conversion of the collegiate chapter established by his predecessor in connection with St. Patrick's, into a cathedral chapter, with four dignities and an increased number of prebendaries. This change presented the singular spectacle of a city having two cathedrals, with two chapters, one monastic, the other secular, an arrangement which fed to a good deal of friction and gave much trouble to succeeding archbishops. In 1228 de Loundres was succeeded by Archbishop Luke, brought over from London. Flourishing as he did in the period of cathedral building, we need not be surprised to learn that he caught the infection, and practically re-erected St. Patrick's as we have it today, and put the nave to Christ Church as we see it in its restored condition. It scarcely necessary to go through nominatim the series of English bishops who filled the see during the medieval period. Suffice it to mention, that as most of them held some government post, such as lord chancellor, or lord treasurer, in conjunction with the arch-bishopric, their spiritual influence was thereby rendered obnoxious to the native clans of the O'Byrnes and O'Tooles, when they shook off the English yoke during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Holy See, not to leave the natives without episcopal care, was compelled to provide a bishop for them, titularly of Glendalough, and the rubricelle in the Vatican Library furnish a list of six such bishops who presided over the mountainous region of the diocese well into the reign of Henry VIII .


This monarch, unhappily as is well known, dislocated everything in Church and State. The foul murder of Archbishop Alan, author of the valuable "Liber Niger" and "Repertorium Viride", by the followers of Silken Thomas in 1534, afforded the king the much desired opportunity of introducing his religious vagaries into Ireland. He kept the see vacant for nearly a year, and then filled it without any reference to the pope, by the appointment of George Browne. Browne had been provincial of the suppressed Augustinian Hermits in England, and was the bond slave of Henry, ready to do his master's bidding. He was consecrated by Cranmer, 19 March, 1535-6, and took up his residence in Dublin in August, 1536. The antecedents of Browne and the schismatical character of his appointment did not recommend him to the Dublin clergy. He complained of their resistance to his injunctions and was compelled to send round his own servants in order to cancel the pope's name in the service-books. A sharp warning from the king stirred him up to more demonstrative action, and forthwith he had all holy relics preserved in Christ Church cathedral, including St. Patrick's crosier known as the "Staff of Jesus", gathered into a heap and burned. He co-operated only too gladly in the suppression of all the religious houses , in changing the prior and convent of Christ Church into a secular dean and chapter, and in the total suppression of St. Patrick's chapter. Under Edward VI he introduced that monarch's new liturgy, as found in his first " Boo of Common Prayer ", into the cathedral, and finished by taking a wife.

With the accession of Queen Mary all things Catholic were restored, and Browne, being convicted of being a married bishop, was deposed. The queen filled the vacant see by nominating Hugh Curwen, Dean of Hereford, yet another Englishman, and the royal nomination was confirmed at Rome. She also reestablished the dean and chapter of St. Patrick's. While the queen survived, unhappily not long, Curwen behaved as a Catholic, but on the accession of Elizabeth, he was ready to worship the rising sun, to accept her royal supremacy and Act of Uniformity, and eventually a transfer to the See of Oxford as its Protestant bishop. This apostasy, coupled with the severe persecution of Catholics which continued through the whole of Elizabeth's reign, left the See of Dublin without a Catholic bishop for full forty years. The compensations were, however, a firm and faithful clergy and people, and a long roll of martyrs and confessors.


Some attempt was made by the Holy See to provide a bishop in 1585 by appointing a certain Donald or Donatus, but he did not live to take possession, and not until 1600 was his successor appointed in the person of Matthew d'Oviedo, a Spanish Franciscan. Though he came to Ireland, he dared not set foot in his diocese, but governed it through vicars-general, three of whom successively ended their days in prison. Finally about 1611 d'Oviedo returned to Spain and resigned the see, being succeeded by Dr. Eugene Matthews, transferred from Clogher. Dr. Matthews laboured hard and in most difficult times. In 1615 he called a provincial synod in Kilkenny wherein, amongst other enactments, the parochial system was reorganised and order evolved out of chaos. He narrowly escaped imprisonment more than once, and eventually betook himself to Rome where he died in 1623. Early in 1625 his successor Dr. Thomas Fleming, a Franciscan, was appointed. After the outbreak of 1641 and when the Confederation of Kilkenny was initiated, he was appointed a member of the supreme council and took part in its deliberations. But the arrival and victory of the Cromwellians in Dublin in 1649 closed the gates of his cathedral city against him; he took refuge in Galway and died there in 1651 or 1652. Dr. Edmund O'Reilly, his vicar-general, was proposed as vicar Apostolic, but his imprisonment and subsequent exile rendered this proposal abortive, and in 1656 Dr. James Dempsey, vicar capitular of Leighlin, was appointed to this office. In his first report to the Holy See, after the horrors of war, pestilence, and banishment, he states "that in the diocese of Dublin there were not enough Catholics to form three parishes ".

The restoration of Charles II to the throne occurred during Dr. Dempsey's administration and would probably have resulted in some benevolent policy of toleration had not the intrigues of the Franciscan friar, Peter Walsh, brought new troubles upon the suffering members of the Faith. The assembly of clergy held in Dublin in 1666 at the instance of. Walsh and out manoeuvred by him, did not bring peace. Dr. Dempsey died in 1667, and the see was again vacant until 1669 when the Holy See appointed Dr. Peter Talbot of the Malahide family. He was consecrated at Ghent, 2 May. In 1670 he held a diocesan synod, and a meeting of bishops was held in Dublin in the same year which furnished the occasion, by a claim for precedence, for the first contention between Armagh and Dublin concerning the primacy. In 1673 he was banished the kingdom; it was not until. 1677 when broken in health, that he was allowed to return; he was, however, immediately committed a close prisoner to Dublin Castle where after lingering for two years he died. He was a learned man and a prolific writer. In 1683 Dr. Patrick Russell, a native of the County Dublin, succeeded him. The advent of a Catholic king raised the hopes of the afflicted Catholics of Ireland, and with liberty restored to the Church they took heart to make a strong march forward. A provincial synod was assembled in 1685, another in 1688; in 1686 and 1689 diocesan synods were held. The metropolitan chapter, which had never died, was reorganised and the precedence of its members settled. Many other works were projected by Dr. Russell, but the disastrous defeat at the Boyne, in 1690, and the flight of King James put an end to all hope and reduced the Catholics to a worse condition than ever. Dr. Russell was apprehended and cast into prison, where he died in 1692. King James, still recognised by the Holy See, claimed the exercise of the royal prerogative of nominating to vacant sees; the claim being admitted, he named Peter Creagh, Bishop of Cork, as Archbishop of Dublin. Dr. Creagh was an exile in France, and was obliged to govern through a vicar general. He went himself as auxiliary to the Bishop of Strasburg where he died in 1705. Of the six archbishops who filled the see in the seventeenth century, two could never set foot in the diocese, two died in exile, and two in prison. When the penal laws commenced their ferocious career (1705) Ireland was reduced to a single bishop, the Bishop of Dromore, and he was confined in Newgate Prison, Dublin. The new hierarchy sprang from his prison cell. Therein was consecrated (1707) Dr. O'Rorke, Bishop of Killala, and once established in the Apostolic office, he imposed hands on the newly chosen Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Edmund Byrne, parish priest of St. Nicholas.

The population and extent of Dublin had been steadily increasing ever since the Restoration, and new quarters had grown up. Dr. Byrne's first care was to erect these into parishes. To him owe their origin St. Mary's, St. Paul's, and St. Andrew's. In 1710 the oath of abjuration, aimed against the Stuarts, but full of other objectionable matter, raised a new storm of persecution, and Dr. Byrne for a time was forced to hide with his relatives in Kildare. With varying vicissitudes he continued to rule the diocese until his death in January, 1723-4. He was succeeded by Dr. Edward Murphy, transferred from Kildare. This archbishop continued to date his letters, according to the well-known formula of hunted bishops : e loco refugii nostri , i.e. from our place of refuge. He died in 1729 and was followed by Dr. Luke Fagan, translated from Meath, who died in 1734, and had for his successor Dr. John Linegar, a native of Dublin, who lived until 1757, when his coadjutor Dr. Richard Lincoln, also a native of the city, succeeded him. In 1763 he died, and was followed by Dr. Patrick Fitzsimon who governed the see until 1770, when Dr. John Carpenter succeeded. With him may be said to commence the modern history of the diocese, for he was the first of the archbishops, since Archbishop Alan's time, who left behind him, carefully compiled, detailed records of the diocese. He died on 29 October, 1786.


With a rapidity extraordinary for that time, Dr. John Thomas Troy, a Dominican, was transferred 9 December, 1786, from Ossory to the Archbishopric of Dublin. For thirty-seven years he governed the Church of Dublin well and wisely. He witnessed the first assertion of Catholic rights, took part in the foundation of Maynooth College, and laid the foundation stone of the metropolitan church in Marlborough Street, which still does duty as pro- cathedral. Archbishop Troy saw the beginnings of the Christian Brothers and the restoration of the Jesuits, while churches and schools multiplied under his eyes. He died in 1823 and was buried in the vaults of the new metropolitan church not yet quite ready for use. His coadjutor, Dr. Daniel Murray , a native of Wicklow, succeeded him. Educated in Salamanca, he was an eloquent, cultured, and pious ecclesiastic, described by his panegyrist as "the Francis de Sales of Ireland ". To him belong the completion of the pro cathedral, the founding of the Irish Sisters of Charity and the communities of Loretto. He witnessed the achievement of Catholic Emancipation in 1829, the wonderful career of the Liberator, Daniel O'Connell of the great temperance movement under Father Mathew, and the establishment of a system of national (primary) education of which he himself was appointed a commissioner. The awakening of a nation and of a church to a new life and increased responsibilities was accomplished in his time. He died in 1852 regretted by all, and was buried in the Marlborough Street vaults, where in the church above them, a beautiful kneeling statue by Sir Thomas Farrell, adorn the northern transept.

Archbishop Murray was followed by Dr. Paul Cullen, then Archbishop of Armagh, who in June, 1852, was solemnly enthroned in Dublin. He founded the diocesan seminary and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital. He inaugurated innumerable new churches, colleges, and schools, and became the recognised champion of Catholic education all the world over. In 1866 he was made cardinal — Ireland's first cardinal. In 1870 he took a distinguished part in the Vatican Council, and in 1875 presided over the National Synod of Maynooth. In 1878 he went to Rome to assist at the conclave which elected Leo XIII, but arrived late, and in October of that year passed to his reward. He is interred in the crypt of the college chapel at Clonliffe; a fine marble statue perpetuates his memory in the pro cathedral.

In October, 1878, Dr. Edward McCabe, consecrated assistant bishop in 1877, was raised to the archiepiscopal office. His administration was short. In 1882 Pope Leo conferred on him the dignity of cardinal. Never in very robust health, he died in February, 1885. He was interred at Glasnevin where a handsome mausoleum is erected to his memory. In July, 1885, the Most Rev. William J. Walsh was appointed to succeed him.


The status of the diocese (1908) is as follows: archbishop 1: bishop (of Canea ) 1; par ishes, 74; parish priests, 70; administrators, 4; Curates etc., 190; in diocesan seminary, 9; chaplains, 21; secular clergy, 293; regular clergy, 247; public churches, chapels, and oratories, 193; convents, 93. Catholic population (Census of 1901), 407,514; non-Catholic population, 112,498; total, 520,012.

The religious orders are very well represented in Dublin by houses of Augustinians, Capuchins, Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, Holy Ghost Fathers, Jesuits, Lazarists, Marists, Oblates, and Passionists. Dublin is the residence of the Superior General of the Irish Christian Brothers and the seat of their novitiate. Numerous sisterhoods, both within and without the city (Sisters of Charity, Mercy, Loretto, Dominican, Presentation, Carmelite, Holy Faith, Sacred Heart, Poor Clares, Assumption, Bon Secours, Poor Servants, Heart of Mary, etc.) devote themselves to the usual works of education and charity ( hospitals, orphanages, asylums for the aged poor, for the blind and for deaf-mutes of both sexes, industrial schools, homes, refuses, lunatic asylums, etc.).

The Catholic University of Ireland , founded in 1854, consists (since 1882) of the following (6) colleges located for the most part near Dublin: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth; University College, St. Stephen's Green ( Jesuits ); University College, Blackrock (Holy Ghost Fathers); St. Patrick's College, Carlow; Holy Cross College, Clonliffe; and the School of Medicine, Dublin. Each of these colleges retains its own independent organisation. (For the history of this university see CULLEN; MACHALE; NEWMAN; IRELAND.) Other colleges are conducted by the Jesuits (Belvedere College ), the Holy Ghost Fathers (Rathmines), the Carmelites (Terenure), and the Lazarists (Castleknock). The Holy Cross College (Clonliffe) is the diocesan college or seminary for aspirants to the priesthood. For the ecclesiastical seminary of St. Patrick's, Maynooth, see MAYNOOTH COLLEGE.

By the New Universities Act passed in 1908, the official existence of the Catholic University of Ireland was brought to a close. This Act suppressed the Royal University of Ireland, and created two new universities in Ireland, both strictly undenominational. One had its seat in Belfast, and absorbed the Queen's College already existing there; the other had its seat in Dublin, with a new college founded there, and absorbing the Queen's Colleges in Cork and Galway. The new Colleges of Dublin, Cork, and Galway, although undenominational under the Act, principally subserved Catholic interests, Dublin University (Trinity College ) being left undisturbed and mostly frequented as well as governed by members of the Protestant Church. The Archbishop of Dublin is nominated, though not ex officio , a member of the Senate of the new university having a seat in Dublin, and also a member of the Statutory Commission charged by the Crown with the duty of revising and approving of the statutes of the several colleges comprised in the university.

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