Dochtúir MacMathghamha - Doctor MacMahon
Bishop of Clogher
MacMahon Family Crest
The first name of the bishop is not mentioned in the sources. There is no mention that the Protestant Bishop of Clogher was acquainted with Carolan. Therefore it is likely that the subject was Hugh MacMahon who persued his studies at Rome and was appointed to the see of Clogher in 1707. During a great part of his time, he was obliged to wander from place to place often saying Mass and administering Confirmation in the open air or in the solitude of the wood. Later he was elevated to the position of Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. In 1714 he went to Rome to report on the state of the church in the diocese of Armagh.
In 1722 Bishop Hugh MacMahon was instrumental in establishing the Dominican Convent at Drogheda, in which he placed for safekeeping, enshrined in a silver reliquary, the head of Blessed Oliver Plunkett, after receiving it from Rome, where it had been for some years. An amusing story is told about Catherine Plunkett, who had come from Brussels to act as first prioress of the Convent. A licence to teach, having been obtained from the Protestant Primate, she opened a boarding school. The members of the community always wore secular dress, but a rumour spread that they were Popish nuns and an official was sent to make inquiries. He interviewed the prioress, being of course quite unaware that she was a nun, and told her of the report that there were nuns in the house. 'Sir,' she replied, 'I can assure you the ladies of this establishment are as much nuns as I am.' He apologized and went away satisfied. ... Dónal O'Sullivan 2001 1 vol. edition p. 256
Notations are courtesy of Carolan, the Life and Times of an Irish Harper by Dónal O'Sullivan v 1 Celtic Music Edition 1983.
Courtesy of Vivian and Jack Hennessey, IrishPage.com, 2005.
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