Monday, July 11, 2011

Among the rows of cruciform tombs: William J. Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin

Towering over the rows of cruciform tombs in Glasnevin cemetery is the final resting place of William J. Walsh, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, and Primate of Ireland. Walsh was born in Dublin 30 January 1841. He was educated at the Catholic University, under Cardinal Newman, and continued his clerical studies at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. After graduation, he was appointed Professor of Dogmatic and Moral Theology, a post he held from 1867 to 1878. He became president of Maynooth College in 1881.

Walsh took an active part in public affairs, and was a leading nationalist in the hierarchy of the Irish clergy. Walsh openly endorsed the land agitation movement of the 1880s. Possibly because of the stand that he took, the British government opposed his appointment as Archbishop of Dublin in 1885. He was a strong supporter of Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party and founder of the Irish National Land League; however, when the scandal broke of Parnell’s relationship with Mrs Kitty O’Shea, Walsh turned against Parnell.

William J Walsh died in Dublin in 9 April 1921. Following his death he was described as “the greatest Archbishop of Dublin since St Laurence O’Toole”. His monument in Glasnevin cemetery was sculpted by renowned Irish sculptor Albert Power.

All photographs Copyright© J.Geraghty-Gorman 2011. All rights reserved.
Click on photos to view larger version.

Biographical Reference: Glasnevin Trust.
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