Mother Francis Clare

Mother Mary Francis Clare
Egyptian Arch, Newry, Co. Down,_Newry,_Co._Down,_1990_(7499763292).jpg
Killowen Church Ruins, Kenmare. Co. Kerry,_Kenmare.jpg
Basilica Knock, Co. Mayo
Author's Collection
Warick Castle, Warickshire, England,_Warwickshire,_England,_a_popular_tourist_destination.jpg
Map of New Jersey 1677

The Nun of Kenmare

This articulate independent – minded woman, a nun, an author, was driven by a strong, caring social ethos for women plus the poor or ethnic groups.  She was known throughout Ireland for her writings.  She founded communities in Kenmare, Knock also within America.

Margaret Anna Cusack was born into an aristocratic Church of Ireland family in Coolock, Co. Doblin on 6th May 1832.  Her father was a medical doctor who dedicated himself to the services of poor people.  Her parents separated while she was a teenager.  She went to live with a great-aunt in Exeter in England where she received a private education.  (Fr. Michael Goaley) [i]

Margaret Cusack was born in Dublin of well-to-do Protestant parents.  Her mother brough her children to Exeter following the breakup of her marriage.  Margaret received a private education. (Mary Birtchnell)  [ii]

Born on 6th May 1832 Margaret Anna was the eldest daughter of Dr. Samuel Cusack dispensary doctor & Sarah neé Stoney of Oakley Park, Birr, Co.  Offaly.  She had one brother Samuel.  From the age of nine years she attended revivalist meetings at the home of her cousin Hon. Catherine Massey.  Following their parent’s separation, they moved to Exeter to her great-aunt Baker: with her brother she joined the Plymouth brethren in the area.  [iii]


[i] Cathair na Mart Historical Journal 2009

[ii] Margaret Cusack  ( [Assessed 12th August 2020]

[iii] Cusack Anna ( [Assessed 13th August 2020]



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