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Priest of the Parish Of Muckno from 1531-2020

An extract from “On the Way: The Journey of the People of Muckno” by Gary Carville

The Hanratty family controlled the benefice of Muckno for most of the time until 1531. In that year Magonius Hanratty was obliged to resign the benefice because he had slain a priest.

Rev Magonius Hanratty                     Resigned in 1531

Rev James O’Duffy                            1531

Rev Philip O’Duffy                            circa 1605-1607

Rev Constantine Duffy                       1670

Rev Brian O’Hellin (Holland)            1681

Rev Owen Mulligan                            1704

Rev Patrick Carr                                 1731

Rev Pierce Duffy                                1744

Rev Francis Coyle                              1782

Rev Edward Maguire                          1788-1818

Rev James Duffy                                1820-1838

Rev Archdeacon James McMeel        1838-1861

Rev Canon Peter Birmingham DD     1861-1882

Rev Canon John Hoey                        1882-1895

Rev Canon James Meegan                  1895-1908

Rev Canon Patrick Callan                   1908-1915

Rev Canon Felix McKenna                1915-1928

Rev Canon Andrew J Maguire            1929-1952

Rev Canon James O’Daly                  1952-1959

Rev Canon John McKenna                 1959-1973

Rev Canon John J Tomany                 1973-1983

Rev Canon Vincent Morris DD          1983-2001

Rev Canon John McCabe                   2001-2010

Rev Canon Patrick McHugh               2010-2019

Rev Canon Shane McCaughey           2018 – 2020

Rev Adrian Walshe                             2020- to Date


Rev Patrick McLearney             1830-1836

Rev William Gleeson                1837-1838

Rev John McLaughlin               1839-1840

Rev Patrick Maguire                  1839-1840

Rev Patrick Hughes                   1840-1842

Rev Patrick Smyth                    1842-1853

Rev Joseph McPhillips              1842-1846

Rev Patrick McKenna               1853-1856[1]

Rev James McArdle                  1855-1860

Rev Thomas Murphy                 1857-1861

Rev John Kelly                          1861-1865

Rev Patrick Donnelly                1862-1863

Rev Patrick Cunningham          July-December 1863[2].

Rev John Smyth                        1863-1864

Rev Peter Byrne                        1864-1865

Rev Bernard Duffy                   1865-1876

Rev Francis McNally                1874-1877 & 1881-1887.

Rev Francis Connolly                1876-1879[3]

Rev John Rooney                      1878-1880

Rev Thomas Gallagher              July-August 1880

Rev Patrick McConnan             1880-1884

Rev Arthur Hughes                   1885

Rev Michael O’Doherty            1888-1889

Rev Joseph Campbell                1889-1891

Rev Francis Ward                     1891-1896[4]

Rev Joseph Rapmund                1891-1894

Rev James McPhillips               1894 – 1895 & 1897-1900[5]

Rev Charles Quinn                    1895-1904[6]

Rev James Marron                     1896-1897

Rev John Meenan                      1900-1902

Rev Mark Clinton                      1902-1914

Rev John J Ward                       July-December 1904,

November 1919- December 1920 &

November 1921 -1930

Rev Bernard Maguire                1904-1906

Rev Patrick Fitzpatrick              1906-1907

Rev Michael Donnelly              1907-1910[7]

Rev John F Timoney                 1911-1917

Rev P J Cullinan                        1914-1919

Rev Eugene Hackett                 1917-1920

Rev Francis Hackett                  1920-1922

Rev Peter Kavanagh                  Apr-Oct 1921 & Oct 1924-1957

Rev Michael McElroy               Apr-June 1922

Rev James P McKenna             1922-1924

Rev Edward McGahan              1923-1925

Rev James McManus                1926-1947[8]

Rev Laurence Murray                1930-1932[9]

Rev John J McKenna                1932-1941[10]

Rev Peter Finnegan                   1942-1944

Rev Victor Marron                    1944-1947

Rev James H Duffy                   1947-1963

Rev Patrick McKenna               1947-1970[11]

Rev Gerard Ferguson                1957-1962

Rev Philip Connolly                  1962-1964

Rev Patrick Scahill                    1963-1977

Rev Hubert Rooney SMM        Dec 1965-Aug 1966

Rev Denis Dolan                       Aug 1966-Jan 1967 & Sept 1968-Aug 1972

Rev Patrick O’Reilly                 Jan 1967- Aug 1968

Rev Peadar Ó Corragáin            July-Aug 1970

Rev James A Doody                 Nov 1970- May 1971

Rev Gerard Timoney                 Aug 1971-Dec 1972 & May-July 1973

Rev Gerard Jennings                 Sept 1972-May 1973

Rev John Halton                        Jan 1973-Aug 1976

Rev Lorcan Lynch                     Aug 1973-1978

Rev Michael Daly                     1976-1980

Rev John Finnegan                    1977-1988

Rev Laurence T Duffy              1978-1994

Rev Thomas Coffey                  1980-1990

Rev Colin Cleary                       1988-1989

Rev Arthur McCann CP            Jan-Sept 1990

Rev Gerry Whyte SScc             1990-1992

Rev John A Flanagan                1990-2003

Rev Michael Jordan                  1992-2001

Rev Terence McElvaney           1994-1997

Rev Kevin Duffy                      1997- 2015

Rev Adrian Walshe                   2003 – 2015

Rev Leo Creelman                    2015- 2019

Rev Nicholas Maanzo              2019- 2020

Rev Stephen Duffy                   2018 to Date


Priests buried at Mullandoy:

It is likely that there are many priests buried at Mullandoy, the ancient church of this parish. Fr Edward (Edmund) Maguire, who was PP at the time of the building of the first Catholic church in the town of Castleblayney, is mentioned as being buried there following his death in June 1818. He was the last priest to be known by the title of ‘PP of Muckno and Upper Clontibret’.

Priests buried at St Mary’s, Castleblayney:

Fr Patrick Cunningham CC, died 12th December 1863.

Fr Ross MacMahon, Monagor, died March 12 1873.[13]

Canon John Hoey PP, died 13th July 1895.

Fr Francis Ward CC, died 9th September 1896.

Canon James Meegan PP, died 3rd March 1908

Fr Michael Donnelly CC, died Christmas Day 1910.

Canon Patrick Callan PP, died 15th March 1915.

Canon Felix McKenna PP, died 12th December 1928.

Fr Laurence Murray, CC, Broomfield, died 15th November 1944.

Canon Andrew J. Maguire PP, died 29th February 1952.

Fr Francis Gallagher, died, 7th May 1956.

Canon James O’Daly, PP, died 3rd July 1959.

Fr Bernard Maguire, Ret’d, Hope Castle, died 4th June 1964.[14]

Fr Patrick McKenna CC, died 29th April 1970.

Canon John McKenna PE, died 13th March 1978.

Canon John Tomany, PE, died 13th January 1987.

Fr Francis McKenna, PE, Clogher, died 24th May 1987.[15]

Fr Peadar Livingstone CC, Clogher, died 8th December 1987[16].

Fr Eugene R Murphy SM, died 25 November 1988.[17]

Canon Vincent Morris DD, PE, died 23rd July 2009.

There is a also a Rev Patrick Hanratty, Drumacon, mentioned on a headstone in the cemetery. The date of death is given as 9 April 1873. Also mentioned on the headstone are other members of his family. The headstone was one of those re-located when the church extension was built in the 1950s.[18] We cannot presently find any reference to him in the records of Clogher diocese except for the admission of a P. Hanratty as a student of St Macartan’s College in 1864.[19] He may have been a deacon at the time of his death.

Priests buried at Oram:

There is only one priest interred in the cemetery at Oram, Dr Owen Francis Rooney DD.

Dr Rooney was a native of Tullyhattina, a descendant of the Owen Rooney who was the first Catholic in Muckno parish to obtain a lease following the penal laws, in 1753. Dr Rooney was born on 10 October 1895 and studied for the priesthood at Salamanca in Spain. Following his ordination on 16 May 1920, he pursued post-graduate studies and obtained a doctorate in divinity.

Dr Rooney was appointed a member of the staff of St Macartan’s college in Monaghan in 1921. He is remembered as a very popular teacher among his students. He appears to have spent a lot of his free time at home in Muckno because his signature appears regularly on the baptism and marriage registers during the 1920s. He contracted tuberculosis and spent a little time in Switzerland. He suffered a re-lapse and following after a few weeks’ illness he died on 18 January 1932, aged just thirty six years.

At the time of his death, Dr Rooney was eulogised in the following terms:

An ideal Professor who endeared himself to all who were privileged to know him … His outstanding gifts of mind and heart, and sunny disposition, made him admired and beloved by all. The great intellect is no more, the generous heart is stilled but his memory lives on and his example will be an inspiration in St Macartan’s for many a generation[20].

[1] Fr McKenna died here on 28 December 1856. He studied for the priesthood in the Irish College, Paris and Muckno was his only appointment. He was a native of Errigal Truagh and his body was interred in Clara cemetery. See, Irish Catholic Directory (1858), p. 212. See also, McKenna, Parochial Records, Vol. I, p. 447. The Freeman’s Journal of 7 January 1857 refers to Fr McKenna’s death but records his name incorrectly as ‘McNally’.

[2] Fr Cunningham died here on 12 December 1863 following a fever which he contracted a week earlier while on a sick call in the parish. His body is buried in St Mary’s Cemetery where the priests and people of the parish erected a monument over his grave. He was a contemporary at St Macartan’s College of the historian and solicitor, Denis Carolan Rushe, who refers to him in his papers.

[3] A native of Clogher, Fr Connolly completed his studies for the priesthood in Louvain. He contracted Tuberculosis and his medical advisers persuaded him to go from Muckno to work in a warmer climate. He went to Auckland, New Zealand, arriving there early in 1880. He died there a few months later, on 9 July 1880. See, McKenna, Parochial Records, Vol. I, pp. 447-8.

[4] Fr Ward was a native of the parish of Killeevan. He entered St Macartan’s College while Fr John Hoey, the future PP of Muckno, was PP of Killeevan. He was present at Canon Hoey’s death in July 1895. Fr Ward died suddenly on 9 September, 1896 and his grave is beside that of his mentor, outside of the southern transept of St Mary’s, Castleblayney.

[5] McKenna omits Fr McPhillips’ first period in Muckno.

[6] Fr Quinn’s appointment here was somewhat unique. He was a native of the parish, from Longfield, where he was born in October 1854, the son of Patrick & Mary Quinn (also nee Quinn). He studied in Paris before his ordination to the priesthood in either 1876 or 1877. Following his ministry in his native parish, he was appointed administrator of Tydavnet and became PP of that parish in 1905. He died in October 1918 and his grave is at the front of St Mary’s, Urbleshanny. I am grateful to Elizabeth Smyth, Conabury, and Bishop Joseph Duffy for making this information available to me.

[7] Died here Christmas Day 1910.

[8] The number of Curates was increased from two to three in October 1926 to provide for chaplaincy to the new County Home, which was opened then.

[9] Fr Laurence Murray, a native of Kilmore & Drumsnatt (Corcaghan-Threemilehouse) parish, died while serving as CC in Broomfield (Donaghmoyne parish) on 15 November 1944, but he was buried in Castleblayney.

[10] Was later to be PP of Muckno 1959-1973.

[11] Popularly known as ‘Big Fr Pat’, he died suddenly here on 29 April 1970. Though born in County Meath, he belonged to a branch of the MacKennas of Truagh which gave many priests and a bishop to Clogher diocese. Following his ordination in 1931 he was CC in Monaghan before being sent on loan to Edinburgh for a time. Later he was CC in Carrickroe, Bundoran and Clones before his appointment here in November 1947. 

[12] This is no more than a short list of the priests whose bodies we know to be interred in the cemeteries of Muckno parish. Future lists will surely add to and correct this simple record.

[13] See Donnelly Journal, 12 March 1873.

[14] Fr Maguire was a native of Crumlin in Ederney parish, County Fermanagh. Following his ordination in 1898 he served in Kilmore diocese for some years before being appointed CC in Clones in 1906. He later served in Pettigo, Garrison, Latton and Ballybay before going to the USA in 1910. He retired to Hope Castle where he served as chaplain for some years before his death.

[15] See Appendix IV – Secondary Education.

[16] A native of West Street, where his parents ran a jeweller’s shop, Fr Livingstone was born in 1932. His father, James Livingstone, was also an elected member of Castleblayney UDC for a number of terms. Fr Livingstone was educated at Beech Corner and St Macartan’s College before entering Maynooth. He was ordained to the priesthood in Carrickmacross in 1957 and was a member of the teaching staff of St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, including a period as its President, before his appointment to Broomfield in Donaghmoyne parish in 1978. He retired to Clogher in 1986. He was an accomplished historian. Among his many written works are The Fermanagh Story (1969) and The Monaghan Story (1980).

[17] Fr Murphy was a native of York Street and was ordained in 1937. He taught for many years in the Marist College in Leeson Street, Dublin and also in Dundalk. He spent much of his retirement in Castleblayney and assisted willingly in parish liturgical life.

[18] My thanks to Michael Murphy, sacristan, for this information.

[19] St Macartan’s College 1840-1890, p. 153.

[20] Centenary Souvenir, St Macarten’s Seminary 1940, (Drogheda: 1940), p. 212.