This Month in the Archives

This month in the Archives – January 2023

Anniversary:  Laurence Gillooly, D.D., Bishop of Elphin, died on the 15th of January 1895.

Laurence Gillooly was a native of Gallowstown, Roscommon. He joined the Vincentian Fathers in Paris in 1844 and was ordained in 1847. He was appointed coadjutor to Bishop George Browne in 1856 and became Bishop of Elphin on the death of Bishop Browne in 1858. He was reported to be reluctant to take the position. On 8 June 1856, Cardinal Paul Cullen, Archbishop of Dublin, writing to Dr. Gillooly about his appointment (see letter below), said “I know pretty well by experience that a mitre cannot be considered to be a crown of roses, but someone must bear the burden and when God calls, it is our duty to obey.”

Bishop Gillooly was responsible for transferring the diocesan college (College of the Immaculate Conception, Summerhill) from Athlone to Sligo and for building the current cathedral. He also moved the residence of the Bishop from Roscommon to Sligo, where it still is today. He attended the First Vatican Council 1869-70 where he was a spokesperson for the Irish Bishops.

Bishop Gillooly died on the 15th of January 1895, having served as Bishop of Elphin for over 38 years. He is buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo.