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The beatification of Fr. John Sullivan last Saturday in Dublin was a historic first occasion of such a ceremony in Ireland with the added dimension that the subject was an Irish priest, of the Jesuit Order. His father was Edward Sullivan, born /baptised in Mallow on 31st July 1822.

Edward went to school at Midleton and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen and in 1841 he entered Trinity College, Dublin. He obtained first classical scholarship in 1843, and graduated B.A. in 1845.

Edward was of the Protestant faith. He married Bessie Bailey, from Passage West, a Catholic in 1850. It was the practice of the time that, in mixed marriages the male children were brought up in the religious tradition of their father, the girls in that of their mother. They had four sons and a daughter. John, (1861-1933) would change to the Catholic faith in 1896 and join the Jesuit Community. He became Fr. John Sullivan S.J., who was beatified last Saturday for the holiness of his life.

I will write of Blessed John Sullivan next week, but today I will outline the Mallow link out of local interest.

Fr. John Sullivan’s father, Edward, born in Mallow (1822) would rise to eminent distinction in legal and political fields. In 1848, Sullivan was called to the Irish bar; within ten years (1858) he was appointed a Queen's Counsel, and two years later, became a Sargent-at-Law. In 1861 he was appointed Law Adviser to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. In 1865 became Solicitor-General for Ireland.

In 1865 he was elected as the Liberal Party MP for Mallow. On the return of the Liberal Party to power, Edward Sullivan became Attorney-General for Ireland.

Edward Sullivan featured in two of Canon Sheehan’s  writings – not favourably, I may add.

In The Moonlight of Memory, Canon Sheehan, a man of strong Fenian views, recalls the election of Sargent O’Sullivan to Parliament. “Just before the Fenian Rising of ’67 Sargent Sullivan was made Solicitor General for Ireland, and he had to find a seat. And where but in his native Mallow. He came saw and conquered. But the elections were hotly contested; and party feeling ran very high. He was a good popular speaker; and he had some clever tricks in catching the popular imagination. The ballad-singers sang;

Hurray for Sullivan! He’s the man who will chase the fox through Duhallow. He’s now come forth to lead the Van, he’s one of the Rakes of Mallow.

The successful lawyer leaped from the backs of a poor, servile people from the bar to the bench, from the bench to the woolsack. And then – passed into oblivion.”

The same event is described in the opening chapter of The Graves of Kilmorna. Drunken campaigners for candidate Sargent Holloway send a young lad to get drink for their needs. An assistant teacher appears on the scene and enquiring what the boy has undertaken tells him : “they are hired to shout for that place-hunter and Castle-hack who is fighting this election just to leap from the backs of purchased slaves to the Bench……. Sargent Holloway will be prosecuting in a few months, and sending to the gallows or penal servitude every brave young heart that beats for Ireland”. It is deemed that Edward Sullivan was the electioneering figure referred to as Sargent Holloway.

History takes strange turns.


Archdeacon Casey’s interview on Vocations for Shalom World TV can be watched here


It has come to my notice that the Eircode number for each individual house works for guiding a person to the house with exactitude. Hence the request from emergency services for people to know their Eircode. IT WORKS.  I recommend that homes have their Eircode adjacent to their phone and be able to give it to those who need it to find their house. This includes priests who may have to search for a house, perhaps at night, when called to a sick call.

For a searcher to find the house, they must have Google maps on their phone. These are the only maps, to my knowledge, that work with Eircode at present.



All Masses from St. Mary’s Church can now be watched live on the internet.  You can now follow Mass and all Services from St. Mary’s Church live. Most households now have an internet connection, for some, if not all, members of the household. It is hoped users will share their facility for others who may not have the skills.

The service is intended firstly for the sick and housebound. It will also facilitate relatives and friends who are unable to attend a funeral Mass or families abroad who cannot attend a wedding.

The existing radio link remains in place also.

Archdeacon Gerard Casey, P.P., V.F., Mallow.


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