- 1897 - 1930 (Creation)
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Born: 21 February 1847, Loughrea, County Galway
Entered: 04 November 1864, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 27 January 1930, Twyford Abbey, London, England
Part of the Clongowes Wood, College SJ, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of his death.
Buried at St Mary's Cemetery, Harrow Road, Kendal Green, London, 30 January 1930, grave number 24NE.
Fr James Daly SJ punished Stephen Dedalus unjustly in James Joyce's, 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man'.
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; Francis H - RIP 1907
Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg
by 1867 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1868 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1875 at St Bueno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Third brother of Hubert - RIP 1918; Oliver - RIP 1916; Francis H - RIP 1907 . Oliver was the first of the Daly brothers to Enter. They were a very old Catholic family who resided in the Elphin Diocese. Oliver joined earlier than the others in Rome and was allotted to the Irish Province.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930
Fr James Daly
Fr, James Daly died at Twyford Abbey on Monday, Jan. 27th 1930.
He was born in Co. Galway on th e21st Feb. 1847, educated at Tullabeg and in Belgium, and entered the Society at Milltown Park on the 4th, Nov. 1864. Fr. Joseph Lentaigne was his Master of Novices. A year's rhetoric at Roehampton was followed by two years' philosophy at Stonyhurst, after which, in 1869, he was sent to Clongowes. Here, according to the good old fashion of those days, he brought his class from Rudiments to Poetry inclusive. Next came the third year's philosophy at Stonyhurst, and four years theology at St. Beuno's. Ordination in 1878. The following year found him at Belvedere teaching , and there ho remained for four years, adding in the fourth year, to his other activities, the duties of Spiritual Father. In 1883, he began his tertianship at Milltown, and, in addition, helped the Master of Novices as Socius. Tertianship over,he was sent to the Crescent to teach . The following year he became Prefect of Studies, and at the next examinations the Crescent took a spring towards the top of the list of Irish schools. The real Daly was discovered!
When the Status appeared it was seen that Fr. T. Brown, Provincial, had named him Prefect of Studies in the recently amalgamated Colleges of Clongowes and Tullabeg. Despite the Limerick success, this occasioned some astonishment and a little criticism, but his marvelous success abundantly proved the wisdom of the Provincial's action. Fr. Daly shot up Clongowes to a high, sometimes the highest place in the Intermediate results list, and kept it there during the twenty-nine years he was Prefect of Studies.
About 1917, his health began to fail, and he was changed, to see what effect the bracing air of Galway would have. It did not produce the much desired result, and Fr, Daly remained an invalid to his holy death in 1930.
Fr. James Daly has certainly left his mark on the Irish Province. What Fr. Peter Finlay did for it in the lecture hall, Fr.Robert Kane in the pulpit, that Fr. Daly did in the classroom where boys were being prepared for the Intermediate Examinations. (All three died between the 21 st Oct, and the 27th of the following January). To say that he was utterly devoted to his work is really, in his case, a “damning with faint praise”. He was absorbed in that work. He seemed to think of nothing else. He actually did what Hamlet said he was going to do : “Yea, from the tablet of my memory I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, That youth and observation copied there, And thy commandment all alone shall live Within the book and volume of my brain, Unmix'd with baser matter”.
And then, the terrific energy he put into that work. Had a scientist cared to make a study of perpetual motion he had only to visit Clongowes during class hours on any of these days when Fr. Daly was speeding on the studies. Scarcely had the boys assembled in their class rooms at 9.30 in the morning than Fr.Daly was at the door of one of them, and before that door was half opened he had commenced a speech. His speeches were distinctly peculiar, quite characteristic of the man. They were even calculated now and then to produce a smile, but who dared, under the circumstances, to indulge in such a luxury? When the speech was over, if there was a slacker present he was invited to a private interview. There he learned how wicked a thing was idleness, how it endangered the bright future that lay before him if he worked, what a bad return it was to his good father who was paying a high pension for his education, etc, etc. All this punctuated, driven home, by loud-resounding strokes of the pandy-bat,not administered one after another quickly, but at regular intervals.
Then off at full speed to another class, and to another, and another until the bell rang at 3.15 for the end of school. At once, again a peculiarity of the man, he disappeared. Like the witches' “The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, And these are of them. Whither are they vanished”.
However, he was hovering some place about, for coming up to 8.45 he materialised again, took charge of late night studies, and then of “voluntaries”, that, under his too vigorous regime, did not end until 11pm.
Such was the life Fr. Daly led in Clongowes during the 29 years he was Prefect of Studies. He was not a man of high intellectual attainments, nor was he a cultured scholar. His wonderful success must be attributed to other qualities : to his deadly concentration on the work in hand, to his intense energy in carrying that work to a successful issue, and to the large measure of shrewd common sense with which nature endowed him. He certainly had the gift of inspiring masters and boys with an enthusiasm that nothing would satisfy except the very highest places at the end of the year.
But it is a strange fact that he himself was not a good master, yet he knew a good master when he met him, and he certainly got the most out of him. He met good masters, and masters not so good, but he never desponded. He did what was possible with the material at his disposal, and it is not on record that he ever failed to secure success.
If Fr. Daly had to stand an examination in the theory and practice of education, it is probable that our educational experts would feel compelled to give him very low marks indeed. His success did not come from reducing to practice the theories of others however wise these theories might be. When he got a free hand, within the law, he was great. Had he been hedged in by rules and regulations, the chances are that he would have been less than ordinary.
Fr. Daly spent the declining days of his life under the kind care of the Alexian Brothers at Twyford Abbey, near London, where he closed a holy and hard-working life by a very happy death.
The Chaplain who attended him wrote: “It has been a valued privilege to me to help Fr. Daly during his last days. He was so genuinely pious. When I gave him Exterme Unction he was so reconciled, and tried to answer the responses himself, Later when I gave him the Viaticum, he was so devout, and made his thanksgiving and Act of Faith, and renewed his vows very sincerely. He soon became semiconscious, but always tried to make the sign of the Cross when I prayed with him. Yesterday I gave the last blessing and Absolution, and said the prayers for the dying”.
During these last days, Fr. Daly was constantly visited by our Fathers from Farm St, For their kindness they richly deserve,and are heartily given the best thanks of the Irish Province.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Daly SJ 1847-1930
What Fr Peter Finlay was as a theologian, and Fr Robert Kane as preacher, Fr James Daly was as a Prefect of Studies, outstanding in such an eminent degree as to become identified with their respective achievements.
For twenty-nine years Fr Daly held the office of Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, during which period he kept the College in the first rank of scholastic success in Ireland.
Born in Galway on February 1st 1847, he made his mark first as a Prefect of Studies in the Crescent Limerick. Then on the amalgamation of Tullabeg and Clongowes he took charge of the studies at Clongowes, and devoted the rest of his life to that duty. He was not a great scholar, of any outstanding intellectual ability, but he had the gift of detailed organisation, which enabled him to inspire both masters and pupils to the highest attainments. His motto was “Keep the boys writing”.
His last days were truly edifying, being spent at Twyford Abbey, near Lonfon, under the care of the Alexian Brothers. He died on January 27th 1930.
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A file relating to Fr James Daly SJ, including biography, genealogical material, letter from Peter Byrne, University College, Dublin (13 November 1897) to Fr Daly SJ, profits from Clongowes Wood College farm 1915-1916, grants paid to Clongowes Wood College and correspondence from the Irish Fr Provincials.
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The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment.
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- County Kildare » Clane » Clongowes Wood College SJ
- County Dublin » Dublin City » St Stephen's Green (Dublin) » University College, Dublin
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Upper Gardiner Street » St Francis Xavier's Residence
- Italy » Rome » Borgo Santo Spirito » Curia Generalizia Compagnia di Gesù
- County Offaly (King's) » Ballycowan (Bar.) » Tullabeg » St Stanislaus College
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- Daly, James, 1847-1930, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare, 1814- (Subject)
- Byrne, Peter, former Clongowes Wood College student (Subject)
- University College Dublin, 1854- (Subject)
- Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Murphy, James F, 1852-1908, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Nolan, Thomas V, 1867-1941, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Fitzpatrick, Steward (Subject)
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