John MacHale, who was a native of County Mayo Ireland, served as Roman Catholic Archbishop of Tuam from 1834 to 1881. Often referred to as ‘The Lion of the West’, Dr McHale worked to secure Catholic Emancipation. He also became involved in national events of the day and strongly supported use of the Irish language.
John MacHale was born in the townland of Tobbernavine on the shores of Lough Conn between Crosmolina and Castlebar on March 6th 1791. He was educated locally and also at the school of Patrick Staunton in Castlebar where he was taught Latin, Greek and English. At the age of sixteen MacHale was awarded a bursary by the Bishop of Killala and he entered St Patricks College Maynooth.
Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1814 MacHale was appointed lecturer in Dogmatic Theology at Maynooth. He worked at Maynooth until his appointment as Coadjutor Bishop of Killala in 1825. Dr. MacHale was appointed Archbishop of Tuam in August 1834.
The British authorities vigorously opposed his appointment because of his many challenges to the policy of the Government. He was a strong supporter and friend of Daniel O’Connell. He resisted the Education Act and supported denominational education. Machale supported the Repeal Association and objected to the Queen’s Colleges. Some of his policies put MacHale at odds with many of his fellow bishops in Ireland. He served as Archbishop of Tuam for forty seven years.
John MacHale, Archbishop of Tuam died at the age of 91 in the year 1881 On This Day.
Monument to Archbishop John Machale
Elaborate 20th century Celtic Cross Lahardane, Co Mayo March 1991
Photo by sludgegulper
Turlough Round Tower, Co Mayo, Ireland by jaqian on 2005-06-06 20:00:25