John Murphy (priest)

John Murphy (Priest)

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John Murphy (priest)

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John Murphy (1753 – c. 2 July 1798) was an Irish Roman Catholic priest and one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1798 in Wexford who was executed by British soldiers.

Before the rebellion

He was born at Tincurry in the Parish of Ferns, County Wexford in 1753, the youngest son of Thomas and Johanna Murphy. He sailed for Spain in early 1772 and studied for the priesthood in Seville, Spain where many of the clergy in Ireland received their education due to the persecution of Catholics, most notably by means of the Penal Laws. He was ordained to the priesthood in the spring of 1779.

On his return to Ireland in 1785 he became the parish priest of Boolavogue, a small village 5 miles north-east of Enniscorthy. In 1798 he was described as being "about 45 years old, light complexioned, bald pated and about five feet nine inches high. He was well made, uniting strength and agility".

During his life Murphy would have been called "Mister Murphy". Cardinal Cullen arranged for Irish priests to be styled as "Father" from the 1860s, and so certain priests such as Murphy became known as "Father" long after their deaths.

Start of the rebellion

Fr. Murphy was initially against rebellion and actively encouraged his parishioners to give up their...
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