John MacHale was a native of County Mayo Ireland. He 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 Co Mayo in March 1791. He was educated locally and 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 he was appointed lecturer in Dogmatic Theology at Maynooth. MacHale remained in 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. MacHale resisted the Education Act and supported denominational education. He also supported the Repeal Association and objected to the Queen’s Colleges. Some of his policies put him at odds with many of his fellow bishops in Ireland. Often referred to as ‘The Lion of the West’ Dr McHale served as Archbishop of Tuam for forty seven years until his death at the age of 91 in 1881.
John McHale, Archbishop of Tuam, was born in the year 1791 On This Day.
Archbishop John MacHale. Elaborate 20th century Celtic Cross Lahardane, Co Mayo March 1991
Photo by sludgegulper
Turlough Round Tower