Daniel McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian

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Daniel McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian

Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Cork, County Cork, Ireland
Death: February 26, 1845 (54-62)
Ireland (Fever, towards the end of the Great Famine of Ireland)
Place of Burial: Bandon, Cork
Immediate Family:

Son of Patrick McSwiney and Ellen McSwiney
Brother of Patrick McSwiney, Pres. Irish College, Paris; Mary McSwiney; Michael McSwiney; Julia Anne Sheahan; Denis Lane McSwiney and 3 others

Occupation: Parish Priest (Roman Catholic)
Managed by: Private User
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About Daniel McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian

Rev. D. McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian

1787 Parish Of Birth: Cathedral

1801 Matriculation St. Patrick's College, Maynooth*, Co Kildare, Ireland. Daniel was among the first seminary students at "The Royal College of St. Patrick" (see below) His brother, Patrick (who later became the Rector of the Irish College in Paris) followed in his footsteps a few years later .

Maynooth College - National Seminary - est. 1795 for the education and preparation of Catholic priests in Ireland

[In the 1790s it was clearly a problem to find teaching and administrative staff in a country when there had never been a seminary. Fortunately there was a solution in the many émigré priests who had fled the French Revolution. Some were French, some Irish, the latter being strongly French in culture. In consequence, the College had a strong 'French' flavour at the beginning. - Source 'Maynooth' website]

Wikipedia states: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth (Irish: Coláiste Naoimh Phádraig, Maigh Nuad) is the "National Seminary for Ireland" (a Roman Catholic college), and a "Pontifical University", located in the village of Maynooth, 15 miles from Dublin, Ireland. The college and seminary are often referred to as Maynooth College. The college was officially established as the Royal College of St Patrick by an Act of Grattan's Parliament in 1795. Mr. Thomas Pelham, the Secretary of State, introduced his Bill for the foundation of a Catholic college, and this was enacted by Parliament.

[The Archive - The Journal of the Cork Northside Folklore Project - Issue 15, 2011 article by Breda Sheehan] "The Coppinger family owned Ballyvolane House and its lands from the 17th century. In 1795 they leased the house and lands to the Roman Catholic church for Cork's first RC seminary" - called The College.

It was originally thought to establish the first National Seminary there but in April 1795 the Dublin papers announced it would be built in Maynooth village. In the 1820s the lease for Ballyvolane House (The College) and Lands passed to Daniel's family - the McSwineys.

'1808 obtained Deaconate.' St. Mary & St. Anne's Cathedral, Cork


  • Staff appointment 1808-1812 Maynooth Colllege (John England, Maynooth Ordination October 10, 1809, was also on staff - see below)

Kilmurry CC (Curate) : 1812 - 1820

Bandon PP (Parish Priest): 1820 - 26/2/1845 [Source http://www.corkandross.org/priests.jsp?priestID=1148]

"1820 Daniel left Kilmurry and came to Bandon as PP to take over from John England when the latter was promoted to the first Bishopric in Charleston, S. Carolina." (1) "John England, a native of Ireland, in 1820 became the first Catholic Biishop in the chiefly Protestant city of Charleston, South Carolina." (Source: Irish-American - Wikipedia)'

(1) The word Bandon is from Bun-dhu-abhan, the district of the dark river. It spans both sides of the main Cork-Killarney road for about 10 Km between Ballincollig and Macroom. It "was a rough appointment with a population of 14,000 facing growing unemployment, agrarian unrest, night raids and murders by Whiteboys, eviction, poverty and disease. But he had the consolation of his friend Dan O'Sullivan (an Irish scholar and teacher from Crookstown, who was ordained in 1820) being made his curate in 1823 and together they faced his pastoral challenge for nearly a quarter of a century".

  • 1820 Daniel conducted 460 baptisms and 86 marriages.
  • 1829 Instrumental in bringing the Presentation Nuns and Convent to Bandon (Nano Nagle founded the community)
  • 1834 Census - 5000 attended Mass at each of the two services.
  • He laboured on behalf of the paupers (as reflected in the Workhouse monthly meeting minutes)

[Source:  Daniel's nephew Denis (Dean of Cork) in a family letter to his cousin Rev. Herbert McSwiney] Gout and rheumatism were a 'family failing' - "my Uncle Patrick, rector of the Irish College, suffered from them from his youth, but left them after him at Vichy, many years before his death in 1865: Daniel, Parish Priest of Bandon, Cork, who died of Famine fever, in 1845, suffered from them,as did John and Denis: my father, Roger, very little."

On the eve of the Great Famine (1846-1847) Daniel contracted fever during his ministry. His death is recorded in St. Patrick's Church, Bandon. The sermon on the occasion says ... "it was from the bedside of a patient he brought the 'dreadful' disease" (possibly smallpox or cholera). The famine was more severe in west Cork in 1847 than in the west of Ireland. At least eleven priests died in the dioceses of Cork and Ross during the famine period; the list included Daniel.

(1) Source: Bandon Historical Journal, Issue 14, 1998. See copy under Documents which refers to "Fr. Daniel McSwiney 1797-1845: A Famine Victim", and which lists a picture of "The Monument to Fr Daniel McSwiney PP (above). An appreciation of 1847." This article states he died at aged 58 - that would place his birth at c. 1787.

The funeral was planned for Whitechurch, to be buried in the family vault. However, there was such lamentation among his parishioners, the family agreed that he should instead be buried in a vault under the altar of his church: Gallows Hill Church, Bandon, Co. Cork

On the 8/6/1861 the last Mass was celebrated in the Gallow's Hill Church, Bandon (the consecration of St. Patrick's Church, Bandon having taken place on the 6/6/1861). The remains of Daniel McSweeney, together with those of Thomas Shinnick, P.P., Bandon (1820-1845) and Fr. Patrick Geran, ret. Parish Priest of Kilbrittain were exhumed and re-interred in St. Patrick's Church, Bandon, Co. Cork.. They now rest in the north aisle, beneath a marble monument which reads:

"To the memory of Rev. D. McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian, Guardian of his flock, Apostle of peace to his brethren outside. Age 58"=== [The Fold, January 1986)

He was the older brother of Very Rev. Patrick McSweeney, President of the Irish College, Paris, and an uncle of Mgr. Denis McSweeney, P.P., V.G., St. Patrick's, Cork City (Lower Road) (1893-1906),

The Diocese of Cork and Ross states he was also "a cousin of Very Rev Peter McSwiney, (P.P., Courceys from 1832 to 1841)".

Father Daniel McSwiney (1787-1845) informed his nephew - Denis McSwiney, Dean of Cork - that he had a copy of the McSwiney Coat of Arms with the motto "Malo Mori Quam Foedari" - "I would rather die than be dishonourable".

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Daniel McSwiney, V.F., P.P., Scholar, Theologian's Timeline

Cork, County Cork, Ireland
- 1808
Age 14
Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland
- 1812
Age 21
Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland

After ordination, Daniel was appointed on the staff of Maynooth College in 1808 - with another remarkable priest Dr John England, who later in 1820 was appointed to the (first) Roman Catholic Bishopric in Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

- 1820
Age 25
Kilmurry, Cork, Ireland
- 1845
Age 33
Bandon, Cork, Ireland
February 26, 1845
Age 58
Age 58
Bandon, Cork