19 May-CYMS

The CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society) was founded by Richard O’Brien. He was a Roman Catholic priest who was a native of Co Tipperary, Ireland. The CYMS became an international organisation. It was founded to ‘foster the spiritual, intellectual, social and physical welfare of its members’. A branch of the CYMS was established in Carlow town in 1886.

Richard Baptist O’Brien was born in Carrick-on-Suir on September 20th 1809. His father died when he was an infant. He moved with his mother to Limerick where he grew up. He was educated at Knockbeg College Carlow and later studied for the priesthood at Maynooth College. He was ordained in 1839.

Following his ordination O’Brien served as president of Saint Mary’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada until 1845. He returned to Ireland where he served as Professor at All Hallows College Dublin before being appointed as a Curate in Limerick City. During his time in Limerick he founded the CYMS in 1849.

O’Brien was a supporter of Daniel O’Connell and supported the movement for the repeal of the Act of Union. He served as spiritual director and as director general of the CYMS for several years. He also drafted rules and a constitution for the society which were approved by Pope Pius IX. Fr O’Brien was appointed Dean of Limerick in 1865. He also served as Parish Priest of Newcastle West where he died at the age of 76 on February 10th 1885.

The CYMS (Catholic Young Men’s Society) was founded in the year 1849 On This Day.





17 March-Patrick Cudahy

Patrick Cudahy, industrialist and philanthropist, was a native of Co Kilkenny, Ireland. He revolutionised the meat packing industry in the United States. He was the founder of the City of Cudahy which is now a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Today the meatpacking business founded Patrick Cudahy is a division of Smithfield Foods.

Patrick Cudahy was born in Callan Co Kilkenny in March 1849. Three months after his birth his family moved to America and settled in Milwaukee Wisconsin. At the age of 14 Patrick began working in the Plankinton and Armour meat packing plant. In 1874 at the age of 25 he became a superintendent in the business. He worked to transform the industry and in 1888 the owner transferred the company to Patrick Cudahy and his brother John Cudahy.

The Cudahy brothers moved the business to a new location south of Milwaukee in 1892. A town built up around the business, which became the City of Cudahy in 1906. The meat packing business expanded rapidly and by 1922 Cudahy Packing Co was among the largest of the packing houses in the United States. During his lifetime Patrick Cudahy, in an effort to promote temperance tried to limit the number of taverns in the city. He played an active role in the Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Friends of Irish Freedom. He died at the age of 70 on July 25th 1919. Cudahy and his wife Anna had nine children. One of their children, John Cudahy, served as Ambassador to Ireland from 1937 to 1940.

Patrick Cudahy was born in the year 1849 On This Day.

Patrick Cudahy HQ Sign

Milkaukee (WIS) Lakefront, Cudahy tower, 1909, University Club, 1926, University Club Tower, 2007


19 November-James Mason

James Mason was one of the top six chess players in the world during the 1880’s. He was a native Kilkenny, Ireland. Mason was also a journalist and the author of several books on the game of chess.

James Mason was born in Kilkenny in 1849. He moved with his family to the United States in 1861 and settled initially in New Orleans, Louisiana. He later moved to New York City where he was employed by J. Gordon Bennett (Gordon Bennett Rally) as a reporter for the New York Herald.

During his lifetime Mason lived in the United States and various locations in Europe before finally settling in England. He competed in chess tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic. Mason became ill in 1903. He died in Essex, England on January 12th 1905.

James Mason was born in the year 1849 On This Day.

James Mason by Alan Light on 2008-04-08 11:51:05