24 February-Cardinal Cullen

Paul Cullen, who was a student at Carlow College Ireland from 1816 to 1820, was Ireland’s first cardinal. A native of Co Kildare he had a major influence on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland during the nineteenth century. He lived in Rome for thirty years. He is said to have drafted dogma on papal infallibility during the first Vatican Council

Paul Cullen was born at Narraghmore, Athy, Co Kildare on April 29th 1803. He grew up on his parents’ 700 acre farm and attended the Shackleton Quaker School in Ballitore close to his home. At the age of 17, having completed his studies at Carlow College, he moved to Rome to study at the Pontifical Urban College. He was an excellent student, graduated with a Doctor of Divinity in 1828 and was ordained in 1829.

Bishop James Doyle of Kildare and Leighlin (JKL) wanted Paul Cullen to return to Ireland. However Cullen was appointed to teach Sacred Scripture and Hebrew at the Pontifical Urban College in Rome. Three years later in 1832 he was appointed Rector of the Irish College in Rome. In 1850 Cullen returned to Ireland having been appointed Archbishop of Armagh. He remained in Armagh until he was appointed to the Dublin Diocese just over two years later.

There was division among the Catholic bishops of Ireland over the National School system but Cullen was a supporter of the system and used his influence to implement reforms for the education of Catholic children. He was however opposed to the Queens Colleges which had been established at Belfast, Galway and Cork. He set about establishing a Catholic University the corner stone for which was laid in Dublin in 1862.

Cullen convened the Synod of Thurles for the purpose of unifying the Hierarchy in Ireland and bringing the church into line with Rome. The ‘Romanisation’ of the church, as it was called, included rules relating all aspects of church life from the administration of the sacraments to the maintenance of church archives. He also began the practice of priests being called ‘Father’ instead of ‘Mister’ and the wearing of Roman Collars by priests. Cullen was responsible for the introduction of denominational training for teachers. In 1854 he founded Holy Cross College at Clonliffe, the Dublin diocesan seminary.

Cullen raised large sums of money to support the temporal power of the Pope and helped raise the Irish Brigade to defend the Papal States against Garibaldi. This was the Brigade that Myles Keogh from Carlow joined. Cullen was appointed a Cardinal of the church in 1866. He was opposed to secret societies such as the Young Irelanders and the Fenians. He believed in constitutional means and saw the secret societies as enemies of Ireland. He strongly defended the rights of tenants and was an advocate for the relief of the poor. With the Lord Mayor of Dublin he established the Mansion House Relief Committee in 1862. Cardinal Cullen died in Dublin at the age of 75 on October 24th 1878.

Paul Cullen, the first Irish Cardinal, was consecrated as Archbishop of Armagh in the year 1850 On This Day.

HOLY CROSS COLLEGE – ALSO KNOWN AS CLONLIFFE COLLEGE

 

14 November-Kilkenny City Railway Station

Kilkenny City Railway Station, which serves the city of Kilkenny, Ireland, is a station on the Dublin to Waterford intercity route. On April 10th 1966 it was given the name Macdonagh Station in commemoration of Thomas MacDonagh one of the leaders of the Easter Rising of 1916. MacDonagh from Cloughjordan in County Tipperary had been a teacher at St Kieran’s College in Kilkenny City in 1902.
The station was designed in the 1840’s by Captain William Scarth Moorsom. He was an engineer working on the railway line which was being extended south from Carlow to Waterford. He had extensive experience working on railway buildings in England, Ireland and Europe. He also designed the viaduct over the River Nore near Thomastown. His design of Kilkenny station was later modified by the architect Sancton Wood who also designed Heuston station in Dublin.
Kilkenny station, which is on a spur line off the main Dublin to Waterford railway line, opened in 1848. However the building was modified in 1868 when a railway line was built from Kilkenny to Portlaoise. In common with many lines in rural Ireland that line was closed in 1962. A railway line from Castlecomer to Kilkenny city was opened in 1919. The line was of great significance in the development of the Castlecomer coal mines. During the 1950’s three trains carrying 90 metric tonnes of coal left Castlecomer for Kilkenny City each day. The line also provided a passenger service from 1921 to 1931.
In recent years the station has undergone a major transformation. The modern station building is now in the old cargo shed and an extensive shopping mall has been developed close by. Today a train journey from McDonagh Station, Kilkenny to Dublin Heuston takes an hour and a half. When the station first opened the same journey took almost three hours.
The first train arrived at Kilkenny station in the year 1850 On This Day.

Arriving McDonagh by Bernie Goldbach on 2004-08-03 16:53:55