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Garahy, Michael, 1873-1962, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/556
  • Person
  • 20 October 1873-14 February 1962

Born: 20 October 1873, Cloghan, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912
Died: 14 February 1962, County Waterford

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1896 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1898
by 1911 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Garahy spent part of his schooling at Mungret, and joined the novitiate in 1893. He did philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, and then sailed to Australia and to Riverview, 1899-1904. He taught, looked after boarders and the Sodality of the Angels, all apparently well. When he was moved suddenly from the one class to another, the students of the class protested to the prefect of studies that they wanted him to stay and said, “My word sir, he does get you on”.
Returning to Ireland, his main work as a priest was preaching and parish work.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937

Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under bis jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938

Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938

Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two Jesuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street

The passing of Fr. Michael Garahy from amongst us has left quite a big gap in the lives of many amongst the community and staff of Gardiner Street. For some five months the care of him. day and night, had become a constant occupation for many and despite the attention he required and the trouble he could make at times, he won and held to the end the love and affection of all who were so devoted to him by his simplicity and personal charm which stayed with him until his death. He died on Wednesday, 14th February. He was with us all through his declining years except for the last five days when, where he was, meant little to him and the best that could be done became inadequate. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anant. We take this opportunity to thank Fr. Mark Quigley for his appreciation of Fr. Garahy's life's work which is given elsewhere in this issue of the Province News, Very Rev. Fr. Visitor was present at the solemn Requiem Office and Mass at Gardiner Street on 16th February, having travelled up from Tullabeg where he was then on visitation; Fr. Provincial presided; Fr. Superior was celebrant of the Mass; Fr. Tyndall deacon; Fr. Mac Amhlaoibh sub-deacon; Fr. Raymond Moloney, Milltown, M.C. To Milltown Park we are indebted also for supplying the choir. We wish to record our thanks to them for their generous help on all occasions.

Obituary :

Fr Michael Garahy (1873-1962)

Fr. Garahy passed away peacefully on the morning of 14th February. On the 16th a very fitting tribute was given him by the presence of Fr. Visitor, the Very Rev. John McMahon, S.J., by a large attendance from the Dublin houses of the Society and by a great concourse of people. The Solemn Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. M. Meade, Superior, with Fr, Tyndall as Deacon and Fr. McAuliffe as Sub-Deacon. Mr. Oliver O'Brien performed at the organ and rendered the Dead March as the coffin was carried out of the church.
Fr. Garahy was born on 20th October, 1873. He was a native of Cloghan, Offaly, and lived for a time with his grandmother in Birr while attending the Presentation Brothers school. He was also at Mungret during Fr. Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and at Mount Melleray. He entered the Noviceship in 1893, did Philosophy at Valkenburg from 1895 to 1898, was six years teaching at Riverview and one year at the Crescent, Limerick. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1905, and taught the Short Course there for a year before going to the Tertianship at Tronchiennes in 1911. He taught at Milltown again for two years till 1914 when he became Miss. Excurr, and was stationed at Tullabeg. In 1918 he went to Rathfarnham and was there till 1941 when he went as Operarius to Gardiner Street.
It was in 1914 the present writer knew him first. Of his previous life those of our time only knew of him by hearsay. For example we remember Fr. Martin Maher tell that when Fr. Garahy as a scholastic in Riverview was changed from a certain class, the class came to Fr. Maher, who was Prefect of Studies, to ask to have him left with them. “My word, sir”, they said, “he does get you on”. During the past fifty years and more, I think that as a great personality and because of his very distinguished work, Fr. Garahy has filled a very special place in the Province. As a preacher he was quite outstanding. His voice was powerful and melodious, a perfect instrument for the earnestness and conviction with which he spoke, His message was given in a straight-forward style with plenty of clear and solid doctrine. I think the subjects touching on the Incarnation and the Passion showed him at his best and most typical. Once when some of us went to University Church to hear his Seven Words, we heard a priest who had come in only for the last sermon or two say to another, what a pity they had not been there for them all. Eloquent and thundering in some mission sermons, he had a very intimate, conversational and pleasant way in instructions, and also in enclosed retreats, if one can judge by one retreat he gave to the community at Milltown. He was widely known and appreciated for his retreats to the clergy. Fr. C. Mulcahy once told us of the delight of the parish priest of Rahan, who said that Fr. Garahy had given them in Meath “a retreat full of new thoughts”.
His friendly way made him a great favourite with the parish clergy and with many of the bishops of his time. He found it easy to join in conversation with them, and to be interested in the lives and doings of ordinary people. He had no side and would discuss or argue a question with the simplest of people. He once brought me to Cloghan to visit his mother, a very old lady then. They were discussing the war and she was lamenting some act of the Germans in France. “Wasn't that vandalism now”, she said, “It was not, mother”, said Fr. Michael, and proceeded to explain and to defend the Germans' action. He had always a love for the Germans and would recall with pleasure his days in Valkenburg, and sing or quote songs he had learned there.
In our own communities Fr. Garahy was always a centre of interest, and often of liveliness and fun. He was full of interesting anecdotes of his life on the missions. As well as giving missions in Ireland and England, he had gone on a mission tour with Fr. Mackey to South Africa. He allowed himself to be easily drawn into argument, and would defend his point strongly or indignantly, but sincerely and without bitterness. He lent himself willingly to any simple fun that was going. When Fr. Eustace Boylan came from Melbourne, via Rome, full of life at eighty, and spent a memorable month or so at Gardiner Street, he found Fr. Garahy a perfectly sympathetic sharer in his ever-bubbling hilarity and good humour. On hearing that a fire took place in Newry during the evening devotions when Fr. Garahy was preaching, Fr. Boylan gave rein to his imagination in a few verses to the enjoyment of all :

    Fr. Garahy stood in the pulpit
And spoke to the crowd below,
And his eloquence rose to a terrible height,
As the next day's papers show.

But just as his soaring eloquence
Was going to soar still higher,
A puff of wind caught the last few words,
And the neighbouring house took fire,

And so in Newry nowadays
They brighten the streets at night
With prints of Garahy's fiery words
Instead of electric light

And watchmen heat their tea-cans
At funnels of gramophones
Fitted to discs that thundered forth
The missioner's fiery tones.

And later when 'twas learnt that 'twas
The Bishop's strong desire
That Fr. Garahy should come back
To set the town on fire.

The enterprising shopmen
Advertised the coming sales
Of fireproof frocks for the maidens
Asbestos for the males.

The more one thinks of Fr. Garahy, the more one feels the loss of him as a source of inspiration and happiness in the Province. His strong features could at times express sternness or indignation, but it was some thing evil or mean or unjust that would rouse him in this way. And his denunciation of wrong was effective. A well-known member of the con fraternity in Gardiner Street used to call Fr. Garahy “the hammer of the Society”. His normal expression, however, was one of kindness and the most natural, smiling friendliness.
Apart from the preaching activities already referred to, Fr. Garahy achieved the highest standards in preaching on special occasions. One recalls his Lenten Lectures, published in pamphlets under the title of Idols of Modern Society and a fine sermon on St. Peter Canisius. He gave a weekend retreat in Irish in Milltown many years ago, with Fr. Michael Saul, and gave at least one mission in Irish in Co. Kerry with Fr. Michael McGrath,
All his achievements left him the simplest of men, a man without guile. For the last two years Fr. Garahy's life has been one of inactivity because of his great age. He has needed special help. But in his decline he was gentle, serene and happy.
This grand man, Fr. Michael Garahy, goes from amongst us full of merits, to be greeted by a smile more winning than his own, of the Master he served so happily and so well.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1923

Our Past

Father Michael Garahy SJ

Fr Michael Garahy SJ (M L S, '89-'93), writes to tell us of an exciting journey to Bantry last summer, whither he went to conduct a retreat in the Convent. The railway from Cork to Bantry being torn up and several bridges blown down, he luckily happened on an inhabitant of that town, a man from New Zealaud settled in Bantry. This gentleman he met in a hotel in Cork, and learned from him that he purposed running down in his motor to Bantry that day. He agreed to give Fr Garahy a lift, the only other occupant being an old nun. A mile outside Cork the fun began. From this point for nearly twenty miles the road. lay through boreens, through fields, and, getting near to Bantry, they were forced to take to the railway line, and bump along over the sleepers. The old lady took it with marvellous sangfroid, and appeared to be quite fresh at the end of the seventy miles ride. Bantry presented the appearance of a Mexican town during the late civil war, Every house of any size was sandbagged and bullet spattered. Day and night sniping went on during the retreat, the Republicans usually firing from a wood near the convent down into the town. The firing was so intense one evening that the usual lecture had to be abandoned, and Fr Garahy, on his way home to the PP's house, had to convoy a party of ladies from the convent to their homes into the town amidst a perfect inferno of machine-gun fire..

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Sermon for the Golden Jubilee of Mungret College SJ

Father Michael Garahy SJ

“In the midst of her own people she shall be exalted, and in the multitude of the elect she shall have praise, and among the blessed she shall be blessed”. (Ecclesiasticus xxiv 3-4).

Your Grace, My Lords, Very Rev Fathers, and Dear Brethren -

The presence within the halls of Mungret of this distinguished gathering of her sons at to-day's celebration is not only a graceful tribute of their respect and a'ection for their old college; it is, I venture to say, a singularly felicitous testimony to the part played by Mungret in laying well and truly the foundations of the success which so many of her students have achieved. To anyone curious to learn what your. Alma Mater has accomplished within the half-century since her foundation the Rev Rector of Mungret might reply without fear of appearing unduly boastful : “Si monumentum quæris circumspice hodie”.

A Happy Coincidence
It is certainly a happy circumstance, that the golden jubilee of Mungret as an ecclesiastical and lay college has synchronised with the most splendid event in the history of the Irish Church, the celebration of the great Eucharistic Congress in the capital of Ireland. That it should also coincide with the fifteen hundredth anniversary of the coming to Ireland of her great Apostle, Saint Patrick, is a matter of more than passing interest to the students whom Mungret has sent forth to preach and uphold the Faith of St. Patrick in lands beyond the seas. Yes, Providence has dealt kindly by Mungret in this year of her golden jubilee by bringing together from near and far, some of them from the far distant outposts of Christ's Empire, the illustrious audience of her sons which I am privileged to address to-day. Mungret welcomes them with the joy of a mother proud to see gathered around her again the men whom she strove to form in the spirit of Christ, whom she sent forth from her halls to play the part of Christian gentlemen, whether as priests or laymen, and her welcome could not be otherwise than heartfelt and proud when she remembers how magnificently her hopes have been realised.

Fifty years is not a long span by which to measure the work done by your college, and yet so much history has been made within that half-century that one is tempted to apply to her the well-known quotation from the Book of Wisdom : “Being perfected in a short space; she has accomplished the work of a long period of years”. Of the nature of that work, of its importance both to Church and State, it is sufficient for the moment to say that from its foundation in 1882 the College of Mungret has served as a training ground for young aspirants to the priesthood and for Catholic boys destined for the lay professions or a business career. I shall speak later of the immense importance of a thoroughly Catholic education to the latter class.

The work of the Apostolic School, concerned with the formation of those whom Christ has called to assume the tremendous responsibilities of the priesthood, naturally claims pride of place in any survey of Mungret's activities.

The Founder Father Ronan SJ
How the idea of founding such a school took root in the mind of the man whose name is imperishably linked with the story of Mungret, is easily explained. Father Ronan, who planned it, and
worked for it, and lived to see the tiny mustard seed he had planted grown to a goodly tree, was first and fore most and all his life through a man of God. He was also a member of an Order whose founder, St Ignatius, had been quick to see the enormous importance of providing the Church, battling for her life against the Lutheran heresy, with learned and holy priests, and had worked with such success towards that end that from the colleges he had established there poured forth the shock troops who held up the sweeping advance of the Protestant heresy in the sixteenth century. For twenty years previous to the founding of the Apostolic School, Father Ronan had been employed in giving missions up and down through Ireland. His missionary work had made him intimately acquainted with the lives and character of the people. He had always taken a deep interest in the young folk of the various parishes in which he had work ed, for the reason that his special line as a missioner had brought him much into contact with them. Father Ronan usually asked for and was allowed to take over the catechising of the young people in the missions in which he took part. He was not slow to see that amongst the boys who attended his instructions, both in town and country, there was an abundance of excellent material to draw upon for the supply of priests so sorely needed on the foreign missions. It was, however, to the poorly staffed dioceses in the English-speaking countries beyond the seas that his thoughts chiefly turned. He had learned how grave was the need of truly apostolic priests in these remote territories where the Catholic population, comparatively small in numbers, and living in an atmosphere either fanatically Protestant or religiously indifferent, were in serious danger of drifting from the faith. The homes of Ireland bred young men admirably fitted to take on this arduous work, but the establishment of a school to prepare them for the priest hood was not to be lightly undertaken, without the necessary financial backing, and the problem that troubled his mind for many years was how to procure the wherewithal to found. such a school. He was already well advanced in years, and at his time of life to set about collecting the money necessary to the success of his project appeared to him to be a task beyond his ability. At the same time he felt that some small beginning ought to be made.

Fr Ronan’s Opportunity
The opportunity offered when Father Ronan was appointed Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. Here was a school with a staff of professors already in being. He needed only to
rent a house adjoining the Crescent College. His young students would thus be enabled to follow the course of studies in the College, and for their upkeep and educational expenses he trusted to find the necessary funds from the pensions of the students, supplemented where necessary by donations from generous benefactors. His hopes in this direction were more than realised, Beginning with eight students in 1880 the number soon grew to thirty. The Bishop of Limerick Dr Butler, Dr Croke Archbishop of Cashel, and a number of distinguished lay gentlemen - amongst them Lord Emly, Sir Aubrey and Sir Stephen De Vere - gave their wholehearted support to the undertaking, while many of the Irish clergy contributed generously for several years to the funds of the Apostolic School.

Fr Ronan’s Deeptest Concern
But the formation of his students on the right lines was naturally a matter of deeper concern to the founder of the Apostolic School than the money question. The nature Concern of the work he had in view for them called for strong men - strong in character, strong in faith, strong in the love of God, with a clear conviction of the responsibilities of their vocation, and trained to bear the hardships and withstand the temptations that beset the priest in lands where the faith has a hard struggle, and survive in an atmosphere reeking with materialism and unbelief. Father Ronan rightly felt that the young men destined for missions such as these needed a special character formation, needed to be deeply grounded in piety, to be solidly educated. Above all, he saw the necessity of placing them under the watchful care of : a holy and prudent director, so that undesirables might be weeded out, and only those who gave fair promise of doing the work of God conscientiously should be entrusted with the care of souls in these dangerous surroundings. He had heard of and was deeply impressed by the system of training followed in the Apostolic Schools conducted on the Continent by the Fathers of the Society of Jesus. He visited several of these schools, and saw for himself how the young men were prepared for the foreign missions at Tournhout in Flanders, at Poitiers, Monaco, and Anjou.

Fr René’s Services
Father Ronan was fortunate enough to meet at Paray-le-Monial a young French Jesuit who had in the preceding year filled the office Services. of director of the Apostolic School at Poitiers. From their first meeting Father Ronan seemed to see in him the right man to undertake the work of piloting the new school through its first difficult years.

Father René, with the approval of his superiors, gladly consented to accept the direction of the school in Limerick, and was duly installed at the Crescent College in 1887. A couple of years after the school had been transferred to Mungret he was appointed Rector of the College, and it was under his direction that the system of training peculiar to Mungret gradually took shape. Father Réné was a man of unusual ability, a born organiser with a great store of common-sense, a little hard, perhaps, in his methods of government, and with rigid views as to discipline that did not always commend themselves to the freedom-loving young Irishmen committed to his care. But of one thing there can be no doubt : he possessed in a high degree the qualities especially considerate in the young men with whose formation he was entrusted zeal for the glory of God, and a spirit of self-denial that led him, when his work in Mungret came to an end, to volunteer for the terrible mission of Alaska, where he laboured for several years until his health broke down. To Father Réné and the devoted French Fathers who worked with him from 1882 till their return to France in 1888, most honourable mention is due for their distinguished services to the school whose Golden Jubilee we celebrate to-day. Another French gentleman prominently identified with the history of Mungret, a great benefactor of the College and beloved of all the students who knew him, Monsieur l'Abbé l'Heritier, also deserves very kindly mention for his services as professor of science during the many years he filled that office in Murgret.

Founder’s Expectations Realised
Time does not allow me to trace the history of the Apostolic School in the years that followed. It is enough to say that the system adopted in Mungret fully justified the most sanguine
expectations of its founder, Within a few years Mungret began to be favourably known as a school where the boys received an excellent education. In the University examinations, in competition with the highly endowed Queen's Colleges, Mungret students were well to the front, and carried off a goodly proportion of the most coveted distinctions in Classics in English Literature, and in Philosophy. But what gladdened the heart of Father Ronan and the superiors of the College more than anything else were the highly complimentary reports that began to pour in from the heads of colleges where the Mungret students had been sent to complete their studies. It became a sort of tradition in the Propaganda and the American Colleges in Rome, as well as in All Hallows and Carlow, to expect big things of the Mungret men. Their spirit of piety, of hard work, self-reliance, and observance of discipline, could not fail to attract notice, and it was quite a usual thing for the students of Mungret to be promoted to positions of trust in their colleges during their Divinity course. It could hardly be otherwise when one remembers that character formation and the habit of prayer had been carefully cultivated during their years in Mungret.

The System of Training
The system in vogue in the College is roughly modelled on that adopted by the Society for the formation of its own novices and scholastics. It undoubtedly exacts much of the young men to whom it is applied, but if it does, it certainly helps to make men of those who take the training. Perhaps the most eloquent testimony to the efficiency of the system is the fact that the Apostolic School in the comparatively short period of its existence, and with a student roll that has rarely exceeded sixty, has already given to the Church an archbishop and six bishops. Several of her students occupy the responsible positions of heads of colleges - one of them at least as large as Maynooth - in America and Australia, while amongst the prominent Churchmen in the United States and in the British Colonies, Mungret is well represented. Finally, it is worthy of note that a number of her students have won distinction as writers - in philosophy, apologetics, ecclesiastical history, and social science. The chief merit, however, of the Mungret training is that it has given to the ranks of the secular clergy and to the religious Orders so many priests esteemed for their blameless lives, their solid piety, and their devotion to duty, When one considers under what unfavourable conditions these priestly virtues have been exercised, one sees how wisely Father Ronan and his successors builded, how every stone in the edifice was tested, and how the completed work stands as a splendid monument to the zeal and courage of those who made Mungret what it is. In late middle life Father Ronan did not shrink from the hardships of a journey to America to raise funds for the extension of the college buildings. He brought back with him not only the money necessary for that purpose, but a considerable sum to found a number of burses. His work as a missioner often kept him away from Mungret for long intervals, but his heart was always there. He loved every stone in its walls, and when the Winter of his life drew on, and the old man came to rest from his labours, his last years were spent in the midst of his beloved apostles. Too old for active service, he could still pray. Indeed, his days were spent in prayer till the end came and Christ called him to receive the Crown of Justice for which he had worked so faithfully through all the years of his long and faithful life.

Removal of the Apostolic School
When the Apostolic School was removed from the Crescent College to Mungret, Dr Butler, the Bishop of Limerick, who was a great admirer of Father Ronan, and had taken a deep interest in the new foundation, decided to entrust the education of his own diocesan students to the care of the Jesuit Fathers in Mungret. This arrangement, as well as the opening of the new college to lay boys, evidenced the working of the school on efficient lines, for it was obvious that the expense entailed in providing a competent staff of teachers could not be met if the Apostolic School, which only numbered thirty students at that time, were to be run as an independent unit. The Seminarians as the diocesan students were called, followed the course of studies in Mungret for six years, until Dr O'Dwyer, desirous of providing his diocese with a seminary under his own management, withdrew his students to the present St Munchin's College. Their connection with Mungret, brief as it was, won for the College a number of devoted friends amongst the Limerick priests. Mungret is proud to know that they are amongst the most respected priests of the diocese, and she welcomes them here to-day no less warmly than the past students of the Apostolic and Lay Schools.

Jesuits as Educators of the Laity
The foundation of a Lay School in con junction with the Apostolic College had entered into Father Ronan's plans from the beginning. If he looked for great things from the latter as a feeder of the missions, he was also keenly alive to the importance of providing educational facilities after the Jesuit plan to boys intended for a career in the world. In this he was true to type, to which Father Ronan belonged, had from its earliest days devoted itself enthusiastically to the education of the laity. This is not to be wondered at when one considers the motives that led Ignatius to found the Society of Jesus. The dream of his life is embodied in the great meditation of the Spiritual Exercises, “The Kingdom of Christ”. His sure grasp of the realities convinced him that the simplest as well as one of the most effective means of realising that dream was the establishment of schools for the education of Catholic youth. These schools would put into the hands of his Society a powerful instrument for forming the rising generations on the principles of Christ, for training them in habits of virtue, for instilling into their souls at the most impressionable period of their lives a love for God and a respect for His holy law. As a matter of fact, so successful were the Jesuit schools in furthering these ends, and at the same time so high was the standard of excellence reached even in the teaching of secular subjects, that in every country when the Society was permitted to open schools, higher training of the Catholic youth to a large extent passed into their hands. For this success the Jesuits have had to pay a heavy price. It will hardly be disputed that one of the chief reasons why the Society has incurred the mortal hatred of the enemies of Christ, why her schools have been suppressed and her members driven into exile on so many occasions in the various countries of Europe, is that, taking them all in all, the young Catholics trained in their colleges have been the most influential as well as the most determined opponents of the anti-Christian organisations.

Fortress of Christianity
In this connection it is not out of place to call attention to the tremendous pressure that is employed to-day in many countries to close down the schools in which religion is taught to the laity. The enemies of God have learned by experience that the most potent weapon in their armoury to destroy all faith in the supernatural, to uproot Christianity, and establish the reign of materialism, is the Godless school. They are equally persuaded that the religious, schools are the fortresses of Christianity, that wherever religion is inter 'woven with education the materialist advance is held up. One need not be an alarmist to see how the storm clouds are gathering that threaten to engulf our Christian civilisation, and there can be little doubt that the issue between Christ and anti-Christ will be decided in the schools. If the Church in these critical times has need of holy and zealous priests to teach the people the truth, to strengthen them in their faith, to encourage them by their example, she has even more urgent need of brave and resolute men, men of faith and men of action, in the ranks of the laity.

Ideals of the Lay School
I have been at pains to show what the training given in Mungret has been able to effect in the case of the Ideals Apostolic School. I may now be permitted to set. forth the ideals aimed at in
the training of the lay scholars. Stated briefly, these ideals are to make them not only educated men in the common acceptation of the term, but, before all else, to fashion them into good Christians and good citizens. And here is the place to state that education, as we Catholics conceive it, is a much wider thing than the training and perfecting of man's natural faculties. We do not seek to minimise the importance of this training; on the contrary, we demand that the greatest care be taken to bring out all that is naturally good in man. Catholic education looks to the development of the body. It looks more closely to the improvement of the mind. It would bring to bear on the pupil all those civilising influences that help to form the character and refine the mind. It considers a thorough grounding in the classics, in literature, in history, in the arts and sciences, indispensable to a finished education, and it recognises the great importance of cultivating in the pupil a respect for the natural virtues - for truth and justice and honour and temperance. But it does not stop there. This, after all, is only a part, and the least important part, of a man's education, and the reason is obvious, once it is remembered that man is something more than a being composed of a natural body and a spiritual soul, that he has been by the act of God raised above his natural to a supernatural state, that his final end is something immeasurably more splendid than the winning of worldly success, that it is to win the favour and love of God in this world and the kingdom of God in the world to come. Now, since a religion supernaturally revealed and attested by the authority of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has been given to men to enable them to realise this end, to know and love and serve God, it follows that a knowledge of this religion, a respect and love for this religion, is the most necessary element in this education. In a word, true education will aim at making man before all else a good Christian, and in doing that it will also contribute powerfully to mould him into a good citizen.

Definition of a Good Citizen
And first let us be clear as to what we mean by a good citizen. I think it will be generally agreed that these are the broad outlines of his character. He is above all things an upright, honourable man, a man who respects the rights and feelings of others, a man whose conduct is ruled by principle, not by self-interest, a man who is clear in his conscience, and master of his passions. Now, men of this type are not born into the world. These qualities are no natural inheritance. They are the fruit of many a hard and bitter struggle against human passion. Some tremendous power other than mere strength of will or fire of character is required to produce men of this stamp. Catholics know that this power is the grace of God, and that religion is the avenue to the storehouse of God's grace. Leave out religion and you rob man of the most helpful means to fashion himself into a good citizen. Experience goes to show that this reasoning is sound, for the really religious man is invariably a witty member of society, and, contrariwise, a huge percentage of the wastrels of society, the criminal class, the crooks and swindlers and anarchists, are, as a rule, destitute of religious beliefs, and for the most part products of the Godless schools.

It was to offer another training ground for the attainment of these ideals that the Lay College in Mungret was founded. It was felt that association with the brilliant, hard-working students of the Apostolic School could not but have a stimulating effect upon the lay students religiously and scholastically, and looking back at the history of the Lay School, it may be fairly said that the experiment has worked success fully. The lay students of Mungret have reflected credit on their teaching. They are honourably represented in the professions. Many of them have won successes in business, and a very fair proportion are working to-day as zealous priests both on the secular mission and in the religious Orders.

Words of Gratitude
In conclusion I believe I am voicing the feelings of the Society when I offer grateful thanks to this distinguished gathering of students who have honoured us with their presence here to-day; to the many students of Mungret who, though far away, are with us to-day in spirit; to all the benefactors of Mungret, both living and dead; and chief amongst these to the St Joseph's Young Priests' Society; to the Rectors and professors of Mungret, who worked so strenuously to make the College worthy of the object for which it was founded. To each and to all the Society tenders devoted thanks, to those who planted, and to those who watered. Finally, to Him Who blessed their labours, Who gave the increase, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom greater glory the College of Mungret was founded, the Society of Jesus and the students of Mungret unite in offering glory and honour and benediction. Amen

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962


Father Michael Garahy SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr Michael Garahy, which took place on February 14th.

Fr Garahy was born in Cloghan, Offaly. After leaving Mungret he spent some time in Mount Melleray. He did some of his studies in the Society in Germany, and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1908.

He was attached to the Mission Staff from 1914 to 1941, and a well known and distinguished preacher both in Irish and English. His retreats were also much appreciated by the clergy.

Earlier in his career he spent about six years teaching in Australia, and was Professor of Theology in Milltown Park for three years prior to 1914. In 1937 he was invited to make a special preaching tour in the Union of South Africa, which he did with distinction. For the last twenty years he was a member of the St Francis Xavier Community. RIP

Hurley, Joseph, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest and Irish language editor

  • IE IJA J/3
  • Person
  • 29 July 1905-20 December 1984

Born: 29 July 1905, Ahakista, Bantry, County Cork
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 December 1984, Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Editor of An Timire, 1949-71.

by 1939 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985


An tAthair Seosamh Ó Murthuile (1905-1923-1980)
Fr Joseph Hurley

Born 29th July 1905. Entered SJ on 31st August 1923. 1923-25 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1925-28 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1928-31 philosophy (1928-30 in Milltown, 1930-31 in Tullabeg). 1931-34 Clongowes, regency. 1934-38 Milltown Park, theology (ordained a priest, 24th June 1937). 1938-39 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1939-'46 Clongowes, teaching. 1946-'61 Tullabeg, writing. Editing An Timire (Gaelic ‘Messenger of the Sacred Heart') from c. 1950. Same occupations in Gardiner Street (1961-62), Belvedere (1962-68) and Milltown Park (1968-82) where he gave up on the editorship of “An Timire” c 1971. He was listed as an assistant editor, nevertheless, until 1982. The Gaelic form of his name was used by the Province catalogues only from 1976 on; previously the form used was Joseph Hurley. The last 2.5 years of his life he spent in Cherryfield Lodge nursing unit.

Fr Joe Hurley passed to the Lord on 20th December 1984. Having lived with him for twenty early years of our Jesuit lives, I retain very clearly the memory of Joe at our most revealing period of life. As I recall his virtues and few faults, the first thing I must mention is his charity.He never offended in word or deed. I should add here, though, that he did fail in the virtue by omission. He was a heavy sleeper, especially in the morning, and left us the other scholastics to serve his as well as our own Mass. We used to be rather annoyed at this, and we let him see our annoyance too. Joe however took it all both humbly and penitently. Of course penitence should include a purpose of amendment, but he continued to snore and oversleep on occasions. The truth, though we hardly recognised it at the time, was that Joe was quite a genius, a poet and “dreamer of dreams”, and the strict regularity of scholasticate life was not for poets or dreamers of any kind. It hindered, I think, the flowering of Joe's great abilities.
Joe however made his way through the various stages of the well-meant training though without displaying any great love of philosophy or theology. His first and last love was Irish: and to Dark Rosaleen, in that mythical goddess who for him seemed to summarise all Irish history (or rather, her story) with the dark blemishes blotted out, he clung passionately all his life. I should say here that Joe was an intellectual in the French sense. He lived in and on matters of the mind. Being a poet, he spent much time versifying silently as he strolled around. He dreamed in Irish, he spoke it to all who knew it, he pushed his abnormal interest in things connected with it down your throat. It was all this that made Joe both lovable and exasperating. One admired the untiring devotion to a worthy object, but felt angry at having willy-nilly to share the enthusiasm. Of course he used the pen and wrote many articles both in Irish and English, for he was a real scholar in English too. Much of his writing however came later, when he had exchanged the classroom for the editorial office. He taught Irish and some English(which he hated to teach) for about ten years (regency and after tertianship), and he infused a great enthusiasm for Irish . into some - but not all - of his pupils. He really gave them indigestion by his over-emphasis on the subject. The truth was that he was never meant to be a teacher. It was like asking a racehorse to do the work of a carthorse. Superiors saw this after a time, and mercifully (from Joe's point of view) changed him to Tullabeg. This change finally severed my association with him.
As I try to summarise his character as I knew him, besides the charity I mentioned, I recall the good humour he displayed, and the brilliant limericks he composed to our intense amusement. He was always a pleasant companion, and never took offence. He would and did annoy one by his obsession with Irish, which revealed itself sooner or later in all his conversations. He showed no anger or feeling of hurt when he took a 'nasty dig' from a bored listener. It was this refusal to reply in kind, and his continued pleasant attitude to his teaser, which was Joe's most marked characteristic and one of the causes of his amiability.
I must leave it to someone else to draw up an account of Joe's life from 1946 on, as I never lived with him again. I am glad I had for so long an intimate relationship with him, and benefited greatly from it.

O'Sullivan, Donal, 1904-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/347
  • Person
  • 26 July 1904-19 November 1977

Born: 26 July 1904, Bantry, County Cork
Entered 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 19 November 1977, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1929 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1935 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Sullivan, Donal
by Lawrence William White and Aideen Foley

O'Sullivan, Donal (1904–77), priest and arts administrator, was born Daniel Joseph Sullivan on 27 July 1904 in Donemark, Bantry, Co. Cork, the only son among two children of John Sullivan, a national school teacher, and Mary Anne Sullivan (née Keohane). After receiving primary and secondary education locally, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (Rahan), near Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1923). He pursued undergraduate studies at UCD till 1928, then studied philosophy in Eegenhoven, Belgium. He taught at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1931–4), before studying theology for three years in Innsbruck, Austria, where he was ordained a catholic priest (24 June 1937). He completed his theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin (1937–8). After a brief period spent giving missions and retreats, he became rector of the philosophate at Tullabeg (1940–47); during these years he ministered to republican prisoners in Portlaoise prison, with whom he enjoyed some credibility owing to his family having supported the anti-treaty side during the civil war. He was rector and novice master at Emo Court, Portarlington, Co. Laois (1947–59). Thereafter he belonged to the Jesuit community at St Ignatius Residence (House of Writers), 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin.

Anticipating the reforms of the second Vatican council, O'Sullivan promoted among fellow clergy a more sensitive and artistic presentation of the liturgy, especially the mass. Through encouragement and facilitation of patronage, he contributed to the mid-twentieth-century revival in standards of catholic ecclesiastical art in Ireland. Enjoying a long friendship with stained-glass artist Evie Hone (qv), he arranged the placement of her work in churches and religious houses throughout the country, and commissioned one of her most notable achievements, the five windows for the new community chapel at Tullabeg (1946). After Hone's death, he helped organise the major memorial exhibition at UCD, Earlsfort Tce (1958). Appointed to the Arts Council in 1956, he served for thirteen years as the body's director (1960–73). Overseeing a redefinition of the council's responsibilities based on an appraisal of needs and resources, he directed activities and expenditure away from support for music, drama, and dance, to a concentration on the fine visual arts, his own area of primary interest and expertise. At the suggestion of council member C. S. ‘Todd’ Andrews (qv), he initiated a scheme whereby the Arts Council purchased paintings and sculptures by Irish artists for resale at half-price to public institutions and state-sponsored bodies, including schools, CIÉ hotels, and local authorities. Securing the appointment of an Arts Council exhibitions officer, he attracted important travelling exhibitions to Ireland, including the influential ‘Art: USA: Now’ exhibition (1964). His encouragement of the preparation of carefully researched catalogues to accompany such exhibitions helped stimulate the emergence of art history as a discipline in Irish universities. He brought to Dublin an exhibition of works by the controversial Irish-born artist Francis Bacon (qv) (1965), and encouraged the highly successful Rosc exhibitions of 1967 and 1971 at the RDS, which introduced Irish audiences to a large selection of contemporary international art. His foremost achievement was the formation (1961) and development of the Arts Council collection of contemporary Irish painting and sculpture, comprising some 800 purchases by 1969; the initiative stimulated the establishment of similar collections by private interests, and thus proved an important catalyst of patronage.

Through such initiatives, O'Sullivan dynamically promoted an understanding and acceptance of modern art in Ireland, thereby helping effect a revolution in public taste. However, in exercising his personal preference for abstract works in the prevalent international hard-edge style, he controversially neglected not only artists practising more conservative styles, but also the emerging school of expressionist figurative artists, leading to accusations of confusing artistic merit with private taste, and failing to represent and support the full range of contemporary painting styles in Ireland. Accused of practising an autocratic style of leadership, early in his tenure he led the council into two highly contentious decisions on planning issues, by advising the relevant local authorities to approve demolition of a row of Georgian buildings in Lower Fitzwilliam St., Dublin, to allow construction of a modern office block for the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), and to approve location of a nitrogen factory on an historic and scenic site near Arklow, Co. Wicklow; both decisions embroiled the Arts Council in febrile public rows. He excluded various popular and traditional forms from the range of art eligible for Arts Council support, favouring the fine and applied arts over genres that he regarded as primarily participatory. Ignoring the important 1960s revival of folk and traditional Irish music, he was also accused of inadequate support for artistic activity outside of Dublin, and for work in the Irish language. His approach implied an elitist concept of art as an activity of professionals producing work of a high standard (as determined by presumed experts) for the aesthetic appreciation of a consuming audience that was largely middle-class and urban, and ran against the demotic spirit of the 1960s and prevailing international trends in arts policy.

O'Sullivan was a founding director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops (1965–77) and of the stamp design committee. He served on the editorial board of the Jesuit periodical Studies, to which he frequently contributed. Intimidating to some associates, inspiring to others, he concealed a fundamentally withdrawn, contemplative nature beneath an opinionated, supercilious persona. Recent biographers of the English writer Graham Greene have alleged that over many years from the late 1940s O'Sullivan was involved in a sexual relationship with Catherine Walston (1916–78), the beautiful, impetuous American-born wife of a millionaire British financier, whose overlapping relationship with Greene inspired the latter's novel The end of the affair (1951). After retiring from the Arts Council, O'Sullivan was superior to the Jesuit residence on Leeson St., where he died on 19 November 1977

Jesuit Year Book (1974), 145–6 (photo.); Ir. Times, 21 Nov. 1977 (obit. and photo.); Irish Province News [Jesuit], xvii, no. 1 (1978), 28–32; Brian P. Kennedy, Dreams and responsibilities: the state and the arts in independent Ireland (c.1990) (photo., 131); Michael Sheldon, Graham Greene: the man within (1994); William Cash, The third woman: the secret passion that inspired The end of the affair (2000), 209–13

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976

Leeson Street
Since the last issue of the Province News, our Superior, Fr Donal O’Sullivan, was the recipient of a signal honour from the French Government. This, l’Ordre National du Mérite, was conferred on him in recognition of his services in promoting French culture, especially in artistic fields. At the presentation the Ambassador, M Pierre du Menthon, mentioned the keen pleasure it gave him, a past pupil of the Society, to confer this order on Fr O’Sullivan

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 1 1978

Leeson Street
Fr Paul Leonard has been appointed Superior and his immediate predecessor, Fr Donal O’Sullivan died. For quite some time Fr O’Sullivan’s health had been deteriorating steadily. During a visit to Cork in the summer he was taken to hospital with heart trouble and on his return to Dublin he spent a long and tedious period in the Mater Hospital, suffering from several serious complaints. He longed to return home to his room in Leeson street and his doctor finally gave him permission to re-join the community at the end of October. But he became steadily weaker and on 19th November he died unexpectedly but very peacefully. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :

Fr Donal O’Sullivan (1904-1977)
Father Donal O’Sullivan SJ, died unexpectedly, although after a long illness, in Dublin, on Saturday, 19th November.
He was born in Bantry (Cork) on July 26th, 1904 and entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on August 31st, 1923. Of the normal Jesuit studies he was at Egenhoven, Belgium for Philosophy (1928-1931) and studied three years of Theology at Innsbruck where he was ordained on June 24th 1937: he completed his theology course at Milltown Park 1937-1938.

He was Rector of the Philosophate at Tullabeg from 1940-1947; and went to Emo in 1947 where he was Rector. He was Master of Novices there from 1947-1959. He was in Leeson Street from 1959 until his death on December 19th, 1977. For some of these years he was Spiritual Father to the students at University Hall and was Director of the Arts Council (a State Body) 1960-73. Father Ó Catháin, a contemporary, helps us more fully to understand the great interests and achievements of Father Donal.

Father Ó Catháin writes: Father Donal O’Sullivan is probably best known for his work as Director of the Arts Council from 1960-73. Mervyn Wall, who was Secretary to the Council in those years, has written about that side of his work. He was also a director of the Kilkenny Design Workshops, as Mr. Wall writes, until June of this year. In addition he was a founder member of the Stamp Design Committee and was active on that Committee up to his death.
These were what might be called his external, public, activities. In addition, or even of greater importance, though parallel with them, was what he did in two areas of the spiritual life of this country. Long before the modern post-Vatican stress on the liturgy became fashionable, he did all he could, by example and encouragement, to promote a seemly and beautiful presentation of the liturgy, of the Mass in particular. In this way he influenced not only the young Jesuits whose novice-master he was for twelve years, but also many lay-people whose spiritual life he directed.
In addition he encouraged artists, both young and well-established, to give of their talents to the glorifying of God's house. His friendship with Evie Hone resulted in the appearance of many of her best works in churches throughout Ireland. Probably the most striking collection of them is the windows in the Community Chapel in what is now the Jesuit Retreat House near Tullamore, commissioned by him when he was Rector there in the years 1940-47.
One little-known activity of his was his work among the political prisoners in Portlaoise jail in the early mid-forties. Coming as he did of a family which had chosen the Republican side in the civil War, he had what would now be called “credibility” with many of these men. He would not wish any details of that work to be known; but there must be many still alive of those men he helped who will remember him with gratitude when they see the announcement of his death.

Mervyn Wall writes: many years ago Fr O’Sullivan helped in setting up an Evie Hone exhibition in University College, Dublin. So successful was this exhibition that he was appointed a member of the Arts Council in 1957. On the death of his predecessor, Mgr. Pádraig de Brún in 1960, he was appointed by the President to the post of Director of the Council. He was twice re-appointed and served as Director for thirteen years until the Arts Council Act of 1973 extended the powers and membership of the Council.
During his term of office his particular interest was the promotion of contemporary art. He was interested in Swedish design and cooperated in the visit of some of its experts on a visit to Dublin which resulted in a valuable report on commercial Design in Ireland. This report led to the establishment of the Kilkenny Design Workshops of which he was one of the founding Directors; he remained on the Board until June of this year. He also acted as Chairman of the committee on Stamp Design, set up as an advisory body by the Minister of Posts and Telegraphs.
While he was chairman of the Arts Council many important exhibitions of contemporary Art were brought to Dublin under the auspices of the Council. These included an exhibition of German church architecture and exhibitions from the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and from the U.S.A. and Britain. More recently, he had the courage to bring to Dublin an exhibition of the work of the controversial English Artist, Francis Bacon. He was active in giving all the help he could to the Rosc exhibitions and in building up the Arts Council's collection of Contemporary Irish Paintings which he accompanied on a tour of the Scandinavian countries. A valuable scheme which he initiated was the purchase of paintings and sculpture by Irish artists for re-sale at half-price to public institutions and hotels.

In an appreciation in the Press by James White we read: “His closest collaborator and friend in the Arts Council was Michael Scott the architect for whom he had unbounded admiration. Together they could sway opposition and dare projects that others might find forbidding. But those who came close to them have been inspired by the conviction that when faith is well anchored, then nothing should deter one.
The Rosc exhibitions are a typical example. The first two mounted in the RDS in an unsuitable setting somehow achieved the impact of a major international success which has put Dublin on the record of every Art institution in the world. More important from a native point of view, was the impact which they had made on our national consciousness. They gave our complacency a jolt from which we will never recover”.

Father Ó Catháin concludes: “He also tried to help, within the limits of the government grant to the Council and in a quiet and private way, struggling young artists in whom he recognised the promise of talent. He did not always receive the thanks he merited, but it can be said of him that, - fortunately, perhaps - he did not work for thanks. He was interested rather in bringing Ireland out of a sterile academicism into the life of European and World Art.”

From 35 Lower Leeson Street, Father Peter Troddyn writes concerning Father Donal O’Sullivan’s Collaboration with editors of “Studies”:
For many years Father O’Sullivan was a valued collaborator with successive editors of STUDIES. His name was signed to many book reviews over a very long period. Those reviews were always readable, well-judged in length according to the worth of the books under review, and giving just the right account for a reader of that worth, For an editor, he was the ideal reviewer: he never accepted a book without delivering his review of it on time, no matter how busy he might be: and the review was always ready for printing just as it came from his typewriter, requiring not even minor editing. He was a member of the STUDIES editorial board. In this capacity he read many articles sent for publication, and would give a shrewd - and again prompt - assessment of them. His advice helped to shape the contents of many issues of the magazine. That advice was always well-balanced and constructive, objective and solidly-based on his own wide reading in many fields. Such collaborators for any magazine are not easily found, nor easily replaced.

One who was a novice under Fr O’Sullivan's period as Master of Novices was Father Michael Sheil, now Deputy Headmaster in Clongowes Wood College. He was a great friend of Father Donal and was at his decoration by the French Embassy with the Légion d'honeur as his special guest.
Father Shiel very kindly found time from among his many duties to send the following tribute: “The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Fr Donal was his breadth of vision and his courage to carry out many of his liturgical 'innovations' at a time when they were not fashionable. He used often to say to us in the Novitiate that the worst enemies of the Liturgical movement were those who were too. enthusiastic' and also "too impulsive and unreflective.
One of his great phrases used to be that ‘grace builds on nature’ and he certainly lived that out in his own life. He is for me an example of a Jesuit ‘Finding God in all things’.
He also gave to us insular and just-our-of-school novices some concept of the world-wide body of the Society - he used always talk of the ‘Company of Jesus’, not the Society!
After the usual ‘anti-Mag. Nov’ feelings which most experienced in the years immediately after the noviceship, it was extraordinary to see the position of respect and affection with which Donal was held by us.
His obvious enthusiasm for the Arts was rubbed off to some extent on us and his attempts to educate us in this field in Emo were not without fruit! I think that he saw the Liturgy as a form of visual art, leading men towards God, and his own reverential attitude at Mass, linked to the majesty of the Liturgy, signified to us the posture of man-in-communion-with-God.
His familiarity with the Constitutions was striking - I remember how much he was opposed to some of the changes proposed in the early 70s. Yet, who can forget his intervention at the first. Province Meeting in Rathfarnham in 1973, when, having done a volte-face after considering further the reasons for such changes, he persuaded the gathering there that it was best to remain in ‘plenary session’ so that ‘the voice of the Province may be heard’. And I will always remember his homily at the closing Eucharist of the '75 meeting in Milltown.
Donal was a ‘Man-before-his-time’. What he sowed others will reap - may we be worthy to follow in his footsteps, as we have walked in his shadow. His death marks the end of an era”

Another former novice under Father O'Sullivan, Father H S Naylor, of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, wrote an appreciation of Father O’Sullivan's work as novice-master. The appreciation included the following warm words: “I have many friends in the Society, and many more whom I have admired and now respect, but Donal O'Sullivan was the greatest of them all. I had the opportunity to say this to him as we walked up and down the garden in Leeson Street this (1977) June. He was tired of being Superior, which he had been since he left the Tertianship, and though hopeful for the future he was perplexed by the modern Society, and personally anxious about his health.
I had said that I owed it to his formation that I could sail through the changes of the Second Vatican Council and the problems that came with it. He was a man well ahead of his time, and prepared us well for the Society in the Sixties. Time and time again, in retreats and preparation of talks, I have used materials he gave us or was inspired by things he had said”.

2021, Damien Burke notes.
Daniel Joseph Sullivan - educated locally until fourteen, then three years at St Colman's College, Fermoy, Cork on a Rice scholarship. One year at the North Monastery, Cork and then, University College Cork in 1921. Studied 1st Engineering, but took no exam.

Will of Evie Hone, 10 November 1954: 'To Fr Donal O'Sullivan SJ the sum of One Hundred Pounds to be expended by him for artistic purposes or the purchase of livestock for the Order'; 'I Give and Bequeath my Roua Acquitant to Fr O'Sullivan SJ'. Will states the 'I I Give and Bequeath unto my said sister Mrs Nancy Connell and my friend Mrs Harrie Clarke all my paintings being my own work'.

Codicil to the will of Anna Frances Connell, 11 March 1957. 'AND as regards Copy Rights of any of the works of my said sister Evie Hone I DIRECT that the control of the same shall be under, in the hands of and in the sole discretion of the said Father D. O'Sullivan and Mr Leo Smith or such person or persons as they or the survivors of them shall select or appoint.