September 12: TODAY in Irish History:
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Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks
Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.
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1854:Missionary Priest Father Edward Barron
Death of Waterford born missionary priest Edward Barron. He is sometimes referred to as America’s first Catholic missionary when he went to Liberia in 1842.
READ: Profile of Edward Barron
1877: John McElroy, Founder of Boston College
Death of the founder of Boston College, Enniskillen born Jesuit John McElroy at age of 95. McElroy had emigrated to the United States in 1803.
McElroy’s Boston College profile reads:
In 1843, John McElroy, S.J., of the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus, wrote to the Bishop of Boston urging that a Jesuit college be established in the city to serve its Irish immigrant population.
With Boston’s public schools becoming increasingly hostile toward Catholicss, Fr. McElroy’s vision began to take on urgency—and his transfer to Boston in 1847 gave him the opportunity to bring it to life.
Fr. McElroy overcame numerous obstacles in realizing his dream, including the intense anti-Catholic climate that caused several of his offers to purchase land for a Catholic college to be rescinded, and a persistent shortage of funds. Not until July 19, 1863, was he able to write: “On last Thursday was finally concluded the conveyance of all property in my name … to the Trustees of Boston College. Deo Gratias! I am indeed now a poor man, as a religious ought to be.”
Through his efforts, Boston College was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 1, 1863.
1921: De Valera sends letter to Lloyd George and Accepts Offer of Talks with Britain
De Valera stated that his government (not recognized by England) was ready to “to enter a Conference to ascertain how the association of Ireland with the community of nations known as the British Empire can best be reconciled with Irish national aspirations.”…………….
In this final note we deem it our duty to reaffirm that our position is and can only be as we have defined it throughout this correspondence. Our nation has formally declared its independence and recognises itself as a sovereign State. It is only as the representatives of that State and as its chosen guardians that we have any authority or powers to act on behalf of our people…”
Lloyd George initially rebuffed this letter as he did not accept that Ireland had “formally declared its independence and recognises itself as a sovereign State.”
Continued communication over a number of days finally ensured negotiations would begin.
1960: JFK’s Greater Houston Ministerial Speech
Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy addresses Greater Houston Ministerial Association, a group of Protestant ministers on his religion. Kennedy was only the second ever Catholic candidate to be a major party nominee for President. (In 1928 Democratic candidate Al Smith was soundly defeated by Herbert Hoover.)
Many Protestants were wary of Catholicism and Popery. In a powerful speech, Kennedy went into the lion’s den to tell his his audience:
“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute–where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote–where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference–and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.”
For many years following his visit to Ireland in June 1963, as the Camelot legend grew, it seemed almost every home in Ireland hung a three picture montage of JFK, Pope John XXIII and Jackie Kennedy.
Image of JFK in For the Love of Being Irish
Buy Author Signed Copy of For the Love of Being Irish today.
WATCH: A Short History of Ireland
Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish
This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.
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