Official launch of the inaugural Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend

This Friday night we are delighted to welcome the historian Patrick Mannix to deliver a lecture entitled: ‘Church, State and the Irish Diaspora – Archbishop Mannix and the Irish independence movement’.

The night will also include the launch of the paperback edition of Patrick’s seminal work on the relationship between Archbishop Mannix and Eamon deValera entitled:

‘The Belligerent Prelate – An alliance between Archbishop Daniel Mannix and Eamon de Valera’.

It’s always a shame when, over time, a great historical character goes unnoticed in his own community. Daniel Mannix was no ordinary archbishop – his vision and influence had a profound effect on the course of not one but two nation’s histories: His deep friendship with his fellow Charleville CBS alumni Eamon deValera, explored so brilliantly by Patrick in his book, shows how Mannix guided the evolution of a political colossus. His arrival in Australia 100 years ago gave the immigrant working class a champion par excellence culminating in the incredible defeats for the government on conscription in 1914 and 1917. So much so in fact that by the time he arrived in America in 1920 he was being hailed as the ‘Champion of Democracy’ and even prompted the British cabinet to deploy a warship to arrest him so as to prevent him landing in Ireland!

Mannix’s own political formation owed hugely to his own family’s invol-vement in the Land League. The quality of the education Mannix received in Charle-ville was outstanding, a sojourn that took him from the Convent of Mercy to the CBS, to a brief spell under an tAth Peadar O’Laoighre during his stay in Charleville and on to the classical school in Kilfinane and hence to St Colman’s in Fermoy. His intellect was immense – by his mid-twenties he was the professor of Logic and Metaphysics in Maynooth, by his late thirties he was President of the College.

Mannix’s own relatives and descendants in the comm-unity, especially the Cagney and Wallis families have always been fierce proud of the archbishop’s legacy and turned out in force for the launch of the hardback book which was launced last year in the Mercy Museum in Charleville. Now with the initiative from Patrick and Michael McGrath the Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend has become a reality and will hopefully revive the repu-tation of Charleville’s illustrious son. This will take place from the 13th-15th of September next and will include a whole programme of events in the town to celebrate the life and legacy of the archbishop. The centrepiece of the weekend will be a historical confe-rence in the Charleville Park Hotel running on the Friday and Saturday. However, a funfilled family weekend is planned to celebrate Char-leville’s contribution to the Gathering 2013.

A committee with Patrick as Chairman has been set up in the local community with a wide range of people contr-ibuting to organising this historic occasion. Later this month, Patrick is travelling to Australia this month to promote the weekend abroad particularly with the Irish Diaspora in Melbourne.

Patrick Mannix is a native of Killarney, holds a research masters in history from the University of Limerick. He works as a tour-guide at Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin but has also worked at other historical sites such as the Irish Parliament. As well as being author of ‘The Belligerent Prelate – An alliance between Archbishop Daniel Mannix and Eamon de Valera’ published in August last year in hardback and now being launched in paperback by Cambridge Scholars Publishing on Friday night. He has contributed many times to local radio programmes- and also has given various lectures on his specialist topics.

A fee of €5 will apply for the night with proceeds to go to the Archbishop Mannix Memorial Weekend fund.