Catholic Church Kilsyth

Fr. Daniel Murphy

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Fr James Harold and Fr Daniel Murphy at the funeral of Daniel Coyle - Gartshore Pit Disaster

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 Centenary booklet...
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 – 1965 p26.

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 Irish Republic.

God BlessYou!