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Fr James Harold
(Left) and Fr Daniel Murphy (Right) at the funeral of
18 year old Daniel Coyle who was one of 8 men killed in the
Gartshore Pit Disaster in July 1923.
Fr Daniel Murphy was born in 1890 in County Cork
in Ireland. He was educated at St Coleman’s Fermoy and
St Patrick’s Maynooth. He was ordained a Priest on 21st
June 1914 in Maynooth for the Diocese of Cloyne by Archbishop
John Harty of Cashel. He was then sent on loan to St Andrew’s
and Edinburgh where he served from 1914 to 1915 as an assistant
Priest at St Patrick’s Edinburgh. He then came to St Patrick’s,
Kilsyth from 1915 to 1923 serving as assistant Priest to Canon
Patrick Macnamara for almost the whole of the First World
War and its aftermath. He was then recalled to Cashel to resume
his vocation in Ireland.
The text below is an extract from the Scotsman
Newspaper relating to the Gartshore Pit disaster in which 8
men from Kilsyth, Croy and Twechar were killed in which Fr Murphy
is also mentioned.
"Impressive Scenes At Funeral
Impressive scenes were witnessed at the funeral
of Daniel Coyle (18 years of age), which took place yesterday.
A service was held in St Patrick's R.C. Church. The church was
crowded, and hundreds waited outside. Provost Freebairrn and
several Town Councillors attended. The service was conducted
by Father Harold, Kilsyth, and Rev. Professor D. Murphy, Fermoy
College, Ireland. Former school companions carried the coffin
from the church to the cemetery. The members of the Boys Guild,
of which the deceased lad was a member, walked immediately behind
the relatives. All places of business along the route were closed.
Scotsman 31 July 1923
Fr Murphy is remembered in the St Patrick’s
“Fr Dan Murphy lives in the memory as a slim young
man with a shock of curly black hair, a sharp ruddy face, a
pronounced Irish brogue and a blackthorn stick. He no doubt
calls to memory the days when sympathies of many of his country
were very much with their friends and relatives in the land
of their fathers for he was an ardent Irish Nationalist.”
Centenary: Parish of St Patrick Kilsyth 1865 –
The reference in the centenary brochure about
Fr Murphy being an ardent Irish Nationalist reflects the fact
that there was much turmoil and bloodshed in his homeland during
the period when Fr Murphy served in St Patrick’s Kilsyth.
The Easter Rising took place during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising
was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British
rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic. The Rising
lasted from Easter Monday 24 April to 30 April 1916. Volunteers
led by schoolteacher and barrister Patrick Pearse, joined by
the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, along with
200 members of Cumann na mBan, seized key locations in Dublin
and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of Britain. The
Rising was suppressed after seven days of fighting, and its
leaders were court-martialled and executed, but it succeeded
in bringing republicanism back to the forefront of Irish politics.
In the 1918 General Election, the last all-island election held
in Ireland, to the British Parliament, Republicans won 73 seats
out of 105. This came less than two years after the Rising.
In January 1919, the elected members of Sinn Féin who
were not still in prison at the time, including survivors of
the Rising, convened the First Dáil and established the