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Murray, Daniel

Murray, Daniel

Daniel Murray (1768–1852), Catholic archbishop of Dublin from 1823 to 1852, was born on 18 April in Arklow, County Wicklow. He studied for the priesthood at the Irish College in Salamanca, Spain, and was ordained a priest of the Dublin diocese. He was named coadjutor archbishop of Dublin in 1809. He succeeded Archbishop Troy in the see in 1823.

As the church in Dublin emerged from the penal era, it underwent a transformation with the building of a new physical fabric. Murray oversaw a remarkable expansion of Catholic activities in Dublin, including the emergence of new orders such as the Sisters of Mercy, founded by Catherine McAuley, and the Sisters of Charity, founded by Mary Aikenhead.

Murray opposed "the veto" in the 1810s as the price of Catholic Emancipation. This would have granted the British government an influence in Catholic episcopal appointments. A gentle personality, he relied on Bishop James Doyle in the 1820s for much of his response to the Catholic Association's campaign for Catholic Emancipation. Murray was named a member of the National Board of Education in 1831, the first Catholic bishop to be appointed to a state board in the modern period. He served in administering the system alongside the Anglican archbishop of Dublin, Richard Whately, in an unusual example of good ecumenical relations.

In 1838, Murray was attacked by a fellow archbishop, John MacHale of Tuam, for not holding firmly to a Catholic position on the National Board. Murray, however, had the support of a majority of the bishops. Throughout the 1840s Murray and MacHale disagreed on almost every issue and split the hierarchy. Murray did not approve of Daniel O'Connell's campaign for repeal of the union. He favored the third-level Queen's Colleges but was opposed by a majority of the hierarchy and by Archbishop Cullen at the Synod of Thurles in 1850. A political moderate, he was regarded by Cullen and others as being too trusting of British government intentions.

SEE ALSO Roman Catholic Church: 1690 to 1829; Roman Catholic Church: 1829 to 1891


Kerr, Donal A. Peel, Priests, and Politics: Sir Robert Peel's Administration and the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, 1841–1846. 1982.

Kerr, Donal A. "A Nation of Beggars"? Priests, People, and Politics in Famine Ireland, 1846–1852. 1994.

Thomas McGrath

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