His Lordship Thomas P. Gilmartin D. D.

Castlebar view 2005
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castlebar_large_view_from_above.jpg
St. Jarlath's College, Tuam, Co. Galway
St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Co. Galway 2009 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tuam_St._Jarlath%27s_College_2009_09_14.jpg
St. Patrick's College, Maynooth
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maynooth_St._Patrick%27s_College_2009_05_03.jpg
Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Archbishop of Tuam

This Mayo Priest was a controversial Archbishop of Tuam during several turbulent years in Ireland.

Thomas Patrick Gilmartin was born in Rhinsinna, Castlebar on 18 May1861 at Rhinsinna, Castlebar, Co. Mayo. [i]  Dr. Gilmartin was born in Rinshinna the son of Michael & Mary McHale on 18 May1861.  He was reared by his uncle & aunt, Martin & Mary McHale in Killeen, Ballyvary in Co. Mayo. (29th December 2007) [ii]  He was born son of Michael in Castlebar Co. Mayo on 18 May1861. [iii]

Education

His education was undertaken at Killeen National School, Errew Monastery then later at St. Joseph’s College in Tuam, Co. Galway.  (29th December 2007) [iv]  Thomas Patrick Gilmartin was educated at the Franciscan Monastery school at Errew & O’Dea’s Academy in Castlebar prior to attending St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam also St. Patrick’s College at Maynooth. [v]

Ministry

Following his Ordination during 1883 he served as Dean of Formation & Vice – Present in St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.  He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by Rome in 1905.  He was appointed to the Diocese of Clonfert by the Holy See on 3rd July 1909, he was consecrated by the Archbishop of Tuam Most Rev. John Healy.  On 10th July he was translated as Archbishop to the Metropolitan See of Tuam.[vi]

He served as Dean of Formation & Vice – President of St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity during 1905 by Rome.  Thomas Patrick Gilmartin D. D. was appointed as Bishop of Clonfert Diocese by the Holy See on 3rd July 1909.  He was consecrated Bishop on 13th February 1910 by Most Rev. John Healy later appointed Archbishop on 14th Oct 1939.[vii]

He was ordained a priest in 1884 age twenty – two.  He taught at Maynooth as a Professor of Mathematics & Science.  During 1891 Fr. Gilmartin was appointed Dean of Formation & Vice – President of St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth.  He was appointed a Doctor of Divinity from Rome in 1905.  Fr. Gilmartin was appointed  Bishop of Tuam on 10th July 1910 aged fifty – seven, he was consecrated by Rev. John Healy Archbishop of Tuam. [viii]

Several years later as Archbishop of Tuam, T. P. Gilmartin preached the Gospel at the Celebrations to Consecrate St. Colman’s Cathedral in Queenstown in Cobh, Co. Cork during August 1919.  The Mass was Presided over by Cardinal John Logue with the Archbishop of Cashel John Harty as Celebrant.  Images of the three Clergymen may be seen on a page from Cork Examiner 25th August 1931.[ix]

Controversies

He became involved in several controversies; the War of Independence, the Civil War plus the dispute regarding the appointment to the position of Librarian Letitia Dunbar to Mayo County Library. (29th December 2007) [x]

He served during the turbulent years of 1918 – 1939 plus the controversy regarding the eleven West Mayo Brigade members arrest & internment in Dublin. [xi]

During the War of Independence Archbishop Gilmartin was outraged by the ‘undisputed ruffianism’ of rebellious youths in the priesthood.  He counselled his priests that whatever their personal beliefs they should not act aggressively.  T. W. White described his meeting during the 1930’s with Archbishop Gilmartin plus drinking tea on Croagh Patrick in his publication ‘The Godstone and the Brackymore’. [xii]

 Publications

Archbishop Gilmartin penned a letter to the Administrator in Tuam Rev. O ‘Hannon regarding the danger to Morality of young girls who accepted positions abroad. [xiii]

Gilmartin penned a Memoir of Primate Joseph Dixon in Healy’s ‘Centenary History of Maynooth’ 1895 Brown & Nolan, Dublin.  His other works included the three – volume ‘A Manuel of Church History’ 1897 by M & H Gill, Dublin. [xiv]

He contributed articles to the ‘Irish Ecclesiastical Record,’ ‘Irish Theological Quarterly’ also the ‘Catholic Encyclopaedia.’ [xv]

Miasa de Requiem’ 1885, ‘Cardinal Moran’s History of the Catholic Church in Australia’ 1896, Letters to Shane Leslie mostly concerning Politics 1920 -1921. [xvi]

Demise

Archbishop Gilmartin died in office aged seventy – eight years on 14th October 1939. [xvii]

Archbishop Thomas Gilmartin died in office on 14th October in office aged seventy – eight years. [xviii]

Archbishop Gilmartin died on 14th October aged seventy – eight years 1939 while in office. [xix]

Tributes

‘The Most Beloved Archbishop of the West’ November 1939 ‘The Catholic Bulletin Vol XX1X’ Pages 701 702; an article on the demise of Most Rev. Thomas Patrick Gilmartin.  Articles available at NLI include Most Rev. Dr. Dignan’s panegyric at Tuam during the Month’s Mind of His Grace Dr. T. P. Gilmartin Archbishop of Tuam 1939. [xx]

The Catholic Press, Sydney, New South Wales published an article on the Archbishop of Tuam Most Rev. Thomas Gilmartin D. D. following his demise on page 24 in ‘All About People: Tittle Tattle’ at this site: https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/11682390?

John Healy in his article in his ‘Country View’ Column in the Mayo News of 16th January 2008 stated that it was ironic the venue for Fr. Kieran Waldron’s Lecture on Dr. Thomas Gilmartin was to be held in the County Library given that he was involved with the controversy of the appointment of Letitia Dunbar to the position of Mayo County Librarian. [xxi]

A Lecture on Dr. Gilmartin’s Life by Rev Kieran Waldron P. P. was held in Mayo County Library on 23rd January 2008.  Though Archbishop Gilmartin sought to have a low – profile appointment as pastoral Archbishop of Tuam he did much valued work in his Diocese. [xxii]

Footnotes

This site has a timeline of Thomas Patrick Gilmartin’s lifetime.  Born on 18 May1861 at Rhinsinna, Castlebar, ordained during 1884 aged twenty – two, appointed Bishop of Clonfert on 18 Dec 1090, ordained Bishop of Clonfert on 13th Feb 1910 aged forty – eight, ordained Archbishop of Tuam on 10th July aged fifty – seven, died on 14th Oct 1939 aged seventy – eight. [xxiii]

Archbishop Gilmartin officiated at the Solemn Requiem Mass of Canon Canton P. P. Athenry during August 1920 that ‘‘I am sure I am voicing the sentiments of all the priest here present, when I say that in the death of Cannon Canton, the Archdiocese of Tuam has lost a most zealous, a most edifying and a most accomplished priest.  To you, the people of Athenry, we offer our most sincere sympathy on the departure of a pastor whom you loved dearly and our tender condolences to his respected sisters in his great bereavement……[xxiv]

Archbishop Gilmartin is mentioned in this article: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/

Archbishop Gilmartin is mentioned in the following publications ‘A Handbook of British Chronology’ :  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Handbook-British-Chronology-Historical-Handbooks

‘Ireland’s Holy Wars: The Struggle for a nation’s Soul’: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Irelands-Holy-Wars-Struggle-1500-2000/dp/0300092814

‘The Catholic Encyclopaedia and its Makers’ 1917: https://books.google.ie/books/about/The_Catholic_Encyclopedia_and_Its_Makers.html?id=H6AZAAAAYAAJ&redir_esc=y

‘The Late Most Rev. Dr. Gilmartin’ 1939 Morris Roe, Pat [xxv]

Mayo News ‘A Churchman Remembered’ 16th January 2008: https://www.mayonews.ie/component/content/article?id=3190:a-churchman-remembered

There is a Century Ireland Facebook page that refers to Archbishop Gilmartin

Bibliography

[i] Archbishop T. Gilmartin (https://skehana.galwaycommunityheritage.org/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[ii] Lecture (http://www.castlebar.ie/mayo_historical_and_archaeological_society/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[iii] Previous Archbishops (https://www.tuamarchdiocese.org/previous-archbishops/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[iv] Lecture (http://www.castlebar.ie/mayo_historical_and_archaeological_society/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[v] T. P. Gilmartin D. D.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilmartin) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[vi] Previous Archbishops (https://www.tuamarchdiocese.org/previous-archbishops/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[vii] Archbishop T. Gilmartin (https://skehana.galwaycommunityheritage.org/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[viii] T. P. Gilmartin D D (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilmartin) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[ix] Celebrations (https://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[x] Lecture (http://www.castlebar.ie/mayo_historical_and_archaeological_society/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xi] A Churchman remembered (https://www.mayonews.ie/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xii] T. P. Gilmartin D D (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilmartin) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xiii] Galway in Days Gone By (https://connachttribune.ie/galway-in-days-gone-by-60/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xiv] Archbishop T. Gilmartin (https://skehana.galwaycommunityheritage.org/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xv] T. P. Gilmartin D. D. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilmartin) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xvi] NLI (http://sources.nli.ie/Record/PS_UR_042652) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xvii] Previous Archbishops (https://www.tuamarchdiocese.org/previous-archbishops/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xviii] Archbishop T. Gilmartin (https://skehana.galwaycommunityheritage.org/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xix] T. P. Gilmartin D. D. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Gilmartin) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xx] NLI (http://sources.nli.ie/Record/PS_UR_042652) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xxi] A Churchman remembered (https://www.mayonews.ie/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xxii] Lecture (http://www.castlebar.ie/mayo_historical_and_archaeological_society/) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xxiii] Archbishop T. P. Gilmartin (http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bgilma.html) [assessed 11th August 2020]

[xxiv] Canton Hall Athenry (http://www.castlebar.ie/) [assessed 9th September 2020]

[xxv] NLI (http://sources.nli.ie/Record/PS_UR_042652) [assessed 11th August 2020]

 

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