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Archiver > CoTipperary > 2002-03 > 1015863368


From: "Ed Madden" <>
Subject: Re: Ned Meehan and Fr. Nicholas Sheehy
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 08:16:08 -0800


Ted and List,
Not sure if this "fits" but here are 2 obituaries, Father Michael Meehan and
Father Patrick Meehan.

They are from the book "The Diocese of Killaloe, Vol III. 1850-1904" by Fr.
Ignatius Murphy. Four Courts Press, 1995, ISBN 1-85182-124-4.

1. Michael Meehan, parish priest, Moyarta and Kilballyowen, died on 24 Jan
1878. Michael Meehan was the priest associated with Little Ark of Kilbaha.
He died at the home of his sister, Mrs. Delaney, William St, Limerick, 'in
the 69th year of his age, the 46th of priesthood and 29th of his pastorship'
Born in Ennis 1810, he was ordained in Maynooth 1832 befor being appointed
parish priest of Moyarta in 1849; he was curate in Doora, Tulla, Ennis and
Kilrush. (page 457-459).

2. Patrick Meehan, parish priest, Kilcolman, died in the Gresham Hotel,
Dublin, while taking a bath, on 18 May 1893 at age 70 years. A native of
Ennis, he studied at Maynooth and was ordained in 1853, in St. Louis, USA.
A step-brother of Fr. Michael Meehan of Little Ark fame, he kept aloof from
politics, was a noted athlete and accomplished violinist. He served as
curate in Clonlara, Moyarta, Kilmacduane, Inagh and Toomevara. (page 466).

They are certianlly interesting anyway!

Ed Madden,
Silver Lake, WA
-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Meehan <>
To: <>
Date: Monday, March 11, 2002 5:46 AM
Subject: Ned Meehan and Fr. Nicholas Sheehy


> 3/10/2002
>A chairde,
>
> This week will commemorate the 236th Anniversary of the deaths of
Blessed Ned Meehan and Father Nicholas Sheehy - the Patriot Priest. I want
to invite anyone with any information or possible connection to these heroes
to share their information with the list.
>
> For those unfamiliar with these two, let me offer the following
background:
>
> Father Sheehy was a young (34 yrs old) priest in Tipperary in the
mid-1700s. At the time, the local Irish-Catholic people lived under the most
persecutorial set of sanctions by the English Parliament called "The Penal
Laws". These disallowed Irish Catholic children from being educated, from
owning or inheriting land, from marrying a Protestant, from practicing law,
or even from owning a horse worth more than 5 pounds. The post-Williamite
confisactions were still fresh in many minds, and the "Ascendency"
(Protestant gentry) were given absolute power over the lives of the Irish
Catholics. The stories of cruelty and injustice are too numerous to relate.
But Fr. Sheehy spoke out against them.
>
> At the same time, a secret society known as the "Whiteboys" had sprung
up and these men would dress in white shirts and - in the dark of night -
harass the usurpers of their lands. The typical activities, at least early
on, were the cutting of tendons in cattle and livestock. This made it almost
impossible for the cattle to be brought to market. Later some physical
violence - usually beatings - were administered to some considered the most
unjust.
>
> The English feared the intervention of the French because of the
numbers of Irish soldiers who had been sent off to France a couple of
generations earlier after the Treaty of Limerick. The fear was that these
families would lobby their monarch for an opportunity to come to the aid of
their Irish cousins. Fr. Sheehy had been ordained - and educated - in
France. This fact was used to fan the flame of suspicion against him for the
charge of treason.
>
> During one period, a formal charge was brought against him. At first,
Fr. Sheehy went into hiding - fearing the tyranny of the local officials in
Tipperary. But he later won a change of venue for his case to be heard in
Dublin, where he was acquitted after a trial before Cornelius O'Callaghan.
As the favorable verdict was announced, a new charge - Murder - was brought
against Sheehy and Edmund Meehan, a respected Catholic farmer from Clogheen.
Both were arrested by the Tipperary officials and brought to Clonmel for
trial.
>
> The so-called "trial", conducted by a man named Maude, was a travesty
of injustice. The three prosecution witnesses were a half-witted boy, a
woman of ill-repute (whom Sheehy had publicly criticized), and a horse thief
who was released from jail in exchange for his cooperation. Defense
witnesses, who came forth, were immediately arrested and charged with
conspiracy - i.e. testifying on behalf of the accused. Some of these
witnesses were later executed themselves. The alleged victim was a man named
John Bridge, whose body was never produced and who was reported to have
emigrated to Nova Scotia. The verdict of Guilty was a foregone conclusion,
given the abusive nature of the authorities. The two were sentenced to be
hung within three days, and drawn and quartered.
>
> Ned Meehan left six children, and a widow (ne Bridget Hogan). Two of
the children - the youngest - were a younger Edmund, and William Rourke. The
night before the execution, the prosecutors came to Ned Meehan's cell and
offered to free him if he would testify against Sheehy. Meehan, to his
eternal credit, refused to offer false testimony against an innocent man -
even to save his own life. He ordered them to leave.
>
> On March 15, 1766, the two men were led to a scaffold in the center of
Clonmel. Their loved ones, including Ned Meehan's wife and father (Rourke
Meehan), and Fr. Sheehy's sisters were present. After receiving the last
rites from their friend Fr. Doyle, the men were hung. They were cut down
before they died, so that the executioners could cut them open and pull out
their insides before their horrified eyes. Once dead, their arms and legs
were cut off, and they were beheaded. The heads were mounted on pikes
outside of the local jail - as a warning to other Catholics. It is reported
that the heads remained there for ten years. The rest of the remains - such
as they were - were given to the families. Fr. Sheehy is buried in Shanrahan
Cemetery. The final disposition of Ned Meehan's remains is unknown.
>
> There had been an effort to canonize both men. Most of the records were
destroyed in the fire at the National Archives during the Civil War in 1922.
>
> Siochain,
> Ted Meehan
> 7th Generation Direct Descendant of Blessed Ned Meehan
>
>See: Conyngham's "Lives of Irish Saints", Burke's "History of Clonmel"
>
>
>
>
>
>==== CoTipperary Mailing List ====
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