Rugadh é ar 8 Meitheamh 1783. Ba é seo an fear a bhunaigh an Irish Society in 1818 agus a bhí ina uachtarán air. Ba í a n-aidhm na scrioptúir Ghaeilge a chur á léamh i measc an phobail Chaitlicigh: ‘to instruct the Native Irish, who still use the vernacular language, how to employ it as a means for obtaining an accurate knowledge of English, and for this end, as also for their amelioration, to distribute among them the Irish version of the Scriptures by Archbishop Daniell and Bishop Bedell ..., disclaiming at the same time, all intention of making the Irish language a vehicle for communication of general knowledge’ (An Ghaeilge in Eaglais na hÉireann, 1990 le Risteárd Giltrap). Mac ba ea é leis an bpolaiteoir Denis Daly (1747–1791) ó Dhún Sandail, Co. na Gaillimhe, agus a bhean Henrietta Maxwell, iníon leis an chéad Iarla Farnham. Tar éis oideachais i gColáiste na Tríonóide oirníodh é in 1808. Bhí tuarastal Eaglais na Tríonóide Naofa i gCorcaigh aige ó 1809 go dtí 1843 agus tuarastal Eaglais Steach gConaill agus reachtaireacht Chúirt an Phaoraigh (Áth na Sceire) i gContae Cill Mhantáin aige 1814-43. Ceapadh ina dhéan ar Ardeaglais Naomh Pádraig i mBaile Átha Cliath é in 1842. Ainmníodh ina easpag ar Chaiseal, Imleach, Port Láirge agus Lios Mór é in 1843.

Deirtear in Dictionary of National Biography: ‘He was an eminent leader of the evangelical section, and in him the various religious societies connected with the church found at all times a very munificent contributor. He was a preacher of considerable force and energy, maintaining his own principles with great consistency and ever ready to do battle on their behalf.’ Chuirtí ina leith go mbaineadh sé úsáid as na scoileanna in Áth na Sceire chun páistí bochta a iompú chun an chreidimh bhunaithe (Wicklow: History and Society: interdisciplinary essays on the history of an Irish county, 1994 in eagar ag Ken Hannigan agus William Nolan, lch 505). In 1832 chuir sé eagar ar Focalóir Gaoidhilge-Sax-Bhéarla or an Irish-English Dictionary leis an Easpag Seán Ó Briain a chéadfhoilsíodh i 1768. I seanmóir ar son an Irish Society ar 27 Bealtaine 1821 dúirt sé: ‘And it is most extraordinary, most strange indeed, that the advocates and the friends of such an institution should, at this day, have to contend against the prejudices and the jealousies that naturally stand in opposition to a new society; it is strange indeed that its novelty should be the foremost objection against a Society whose exertions in disseminating scriptural and religious knowledge are directed towards 2,000,000, or, at the lowest computation, 1,500,000 of our own countrymen ... the millions of our countrymen who can either speak no language except the Irish; or who, though able to make use of the English for the common purposes of life, are unable to read or understand a discourse in any but their own.’ D’éag sé 16 Feabhra 1872 agus tá sé curtha in Ardeaglais Phort Láirge. ‘Eminent leader of the Evangelical Party and staunch supporter of the Church Education Society’, a dúradh in Irish Ecclesiatical Gazette 21 Feabhra 1872. Dúradh ann freisin gur thug sé idir £50 agus £100 mar bhronntanas, tamall beag roimh a bhás, don uile churáideach sna deoisí a bhí faoina chúram.

Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin mbeatha seo ar fáil ar http://dib.cambridge.org/ »

Diarmuid Breathnach

Máire Ní Mhurchú