As some of you may know, I publish a series of books on Irish history (eight in the series to date) under the general title of Kilmainham Tales. To accompany these I have set up a website to carry further information and on that site we are currently running a series of articles on the priests of the Revolution.
Probably the majority of those who rose against the British Empire in Ireland were Catholics. However, officially their church disowned them - and again during the War of Independence and the subsequent Civil War.
But not all priests practiced what the Church preached. The brave Capuchin friars, for example, argued that these men's lives were at risk and, whether one agreed with their objectives or not, these men were entitled to the comforts and ministrations of their Church.
So they did that. Fathers Albert Bibby, Aloysius Travers, Augustine Hayden, Columbus Murphy and Sebastian O’Brien ministered to the leaders of the Easter Rising in Richmond Prison, Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle, having previously accompanied the men and women carrying the cease-fire orders.
They continued their ministrations during the following two conflicts.
Their stories have never been told in any detail up to this. Now author and historian Joe Connell is writing these stories and we are publishing them online. (A small book within the Kilmainham Tales series) will follow the completion of the series on the website, with additional detail in the book.
To date three articles and an introductory article are online, accessible at www.kilmainhamtales.ie and follow the links, or go direct to http://www.kilmainhamtales.ie/priests-and-friars---ministering-to-republicans-1.php