Patrick Augustine Sheehan

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Patrick Augustine Sheehan (17 March 1852 – 5 October 1913) was an Irish Catholic priest, author and political activist. He was usually known as Canon Sheehan after his 1905 appointment as a canon of the diocese of Cloyne, or more fully as Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, after the town of Doneraile where he wrote almost all of his major works and served as parish priest.

Early life

Patrick Augustine Sheehan was born on St Patrick's Day, 1852, at 29 New Street in Mallow in the north of County Cork. Third eldest of five children born to Patrick Sheehan, owner of a small business, and to Joanna Regan, he was baptised by The Very Reverend Dr. John McCarthy, the sponsors being Timothy Cronin and Mary Ann Relehan.

As a child, Sheehan was fair-haired and delicate with "large wistful blue eyes". He was described as "a bit of a dreamer, and when other lads were shouting at play, he went alone to some copse or thicket, and with a book, or more often without one, would sit and think, and look dreamily at floating clouds or running stream; and then, with a sigh go back to his desk".

File:Canon Sheehan birthplace plaque, Mallow, co Cork, Ireland.JPG
Birthplace plaques, now the William O'Brien Street, Mallow, Co Cork

Sheehan's father died on 13 July 1863 and his mother died on 6 February 1864. Following the loss of his parents, together with his three surviving siblings, he became the ward of the Parish Priest of Mallow, Dr. John McCarthy who later became Bishop of Cloyne. Responsibility for the Sheehan household devolved on his older sisters Hannah and Margaret.

When Sheehan and his brother Denis (1854–1941), who subsequently joined the Civil Service, had been despatched to secondary school, his sisters entered the Convent of Mercy in Mallow. Margaret Sheehan made religious profession, as Sr. Mary Augustine, on her death-bed before completion of her novitiate. She died on 7 November 1868.

Hannah Sheehan was professed as Sr. Mary Stanislaus, and became Mistress of Schools at Mallow Convent but died young on 17 December 1871. John, the youngest of the family, died at the age of five.[1][2]

In his Under the Cedars and the Stars Sheehan wrote of his childhood: "Strange I never felt the proximity of father and mother. But of my sisters, one in particular, the only dark-haired in the family, has haunted me through life. I no more doubt of her presence and her light touch on the issues of my life, than I doubt of the breath of wind that flutters the tassel of the biretta on my head. Yet what is strange is not her nearness but her farness".

Early education was received in the Long Room National School in Mallow. Of the school master he later wrote: "His range of attainments was limited, but what he knew he knew well, and could impart it to his pupils. He did his duty conscientiously by constant, unremitting care, and he emphasized his teaching by frequent appeals to the ferule".

One of his classmates there was the journalist and parliamentarian, William O'Brien M.P., with whom he was to ally himself in later years. He completed secondary education in St Colman's College, Fermoy, at a time which coincided with the Fenian Rising, the events of which were to have a profound effect on him. He returned to the theme of violent insurrection in several of his novels, most notably The Graves at Kilmorna, recounting Fenian incidents witnessed by him while a student in Fermoy.

Maynooth years

After St Colman's, he passed through "the sphinx-guarded gates", as he called them, of St. Patrick's College Maynooth College in County Kildare on 25 August 1869, to prepared for the priesthood. Although he never shone in the spartan Maynooth regime, he was a brilliant student who, despite recurring illness, succeeded in completing his studies a year before he was old enough to be ordained. Transferred by his guardian, Bishop John McCarthy of Cloyne, to the seminary of the Vincentian Fathers in Sundayswell in Cork, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne at Cork, on Sunday, 18 April 1875 by Bishop William Delany. It is believed that he celebrated his first Mass in the chapel of the Convent of Mercy in Mallow.

File:Picture of Patrick Augustine Sheehan.jpg
Sheehan, at the time of his ordination, 1875

In his essay "The Irish Priesthood and Politics" Sheehan gives a succinct description of his time in Maynooth: "I remember well that the impression made upon me by Maynooth College then, and afterwards, when I saw its long, stone corridors, its immense bare stony halls, the huge massive tables etc., was one of rude Cyclopean strength, without one single aspect or feature of refinement. So too with its studies. Rentless logic, with its formidable chevaux-de-frise of syllogisms, propositions, scholia; Metaphysics, sublime, but hardened into slabs of theories, congealed in medieval Latin; Physics, embracing a course that would have appalled a young Newton or Kepler; and then the vast shadow of four years' Divinity towering above and over-shadowing all!". The Maynooth literature course was hardly any better: "The Graces were nowhere! Even in the English literature or Belles-Lettres class, as it was called, the course seemed to be limited to hard grinding Grammar, and nothing more. During the first semestre, a few lectures were given on literature. All I can ever remember of that period were the words 'Lake Poets', which the good professor was forever repeating".

In January 1870, Fr. O'Rourke, the Professor of French and English, whom Sheehan describes as a "very gentle, polished man", was obliged to leave the College and go abroad for health reasons. He was replaced by a young priest who was then just finishing his postgraduate research on the Dunboyne Establishment. Sheehan regarded him as "one of the most remarkable, if not one of the most distinguished, students that ever passed through Maynooth". To the "young hero-worshippers, sick and tired of logic-chopping, and the awful dullness of the morning classes, he came as a herald of light and leading".

Swiftly, he opened to their "wondering eyes the vast treasures of European and, particularly, of English literature". It was at his feet that Sheehan first heard the names of Carlyle, Tennyson, and Browning.


File:Canon Sheehan's House, Doneraile, Co. Cork.jpg
Canon Sheehan's house in Doneraile,
as it was in his lifetime

Sheehan began his priestly ministry in the Cathedral Parish and in the former abbey church of St. Nicholas in Exeter in the diaspora diocese of Plymouth. He quickly established a reputation as a preacher and was much sought after for sermons, retreats, and incidental addresses. While in Plymouth, he also acted as a supply chaplain for Dartmoor prison which, at the time, still held several of those convicted for treason felony after the Fenian Rising of 1867. He returned to Ireland in 1877 to take up a curacy in his native Mallow. In 1881 he was transferred to Cobh (then Queenstown) and subsequently back to Mallow where he remained until Bishop Robert Browne nominated him Parish Priest of Doneraile on 4 July 1895.[3]

Sheehan's appointment to Doneraile was an important one and an implicit indication of the trust and confidence placed in him by his bishop. It was the largest territorial parish in the Diocese of Cloyne and incorporated the medieval parishes of Templeroan, Doneraile, Caherduggan, and Rossagh. Bishop Matthew McKenna's Visitation Register of 1785 mentions that the parish of Doneraile had 683 habitations while Cahirduggan possessed 200 and Templeroan 120. It had a long tradition of distinguished pastors since candidates for appointment to Doneraile were often chosen for their ability to promote cordial relations with the St. Legers, Viscount Doneraile, who were generally resident landlords, and politically known (and at times suspect) for their long tradition of enlightened tolerance for their Catholic tenantry which eschewed the traditionally bigoted outlook of their Boyle, Kingston, and Midleton counterparts.

The religious climate in Doneraile, and the support of the St. Legers, had permitted an early restoration of Catholic structures which included a convent and schools (1818), and a fine Catholic Church (1827). The situation was such in Doneraile on 8 August 1869 that Bishop William Keane of Cloyne, during his episcopal visitation, noted that he was able to drive unhampered through the town of Doneraile "in choir dress and be received at the Church gate by clergy and laity in the manner prescribed by the [Roman] Pontifical", something that could not have happened in towns such as Youghal, Mitchelstown, and Middleton.

Social engagement

During his pastorate in Doneraile, Sheehan established the custom of weekly meetings with his parishioners which were held on Sunday afternoons. In the early years, these meetings concentrated on apprising tenants of the conditions of the Land Purchase Acts, and of their concrete application to their circumstances. By 1903, practically all land leases had been bought out by the tenenary in

File:Sheehan Letter.jpg
A Letter of Sheehan's

Doneraile parish, without acrimony or agitation and on terms that were satisfactory to both landlord and tenant. From then on, Sheehan concentrated on promoting modern agricultural methods, especially in tillage and dairy farming. The same meetings also resulted in a long series of social improvements in the town of Doneraile which saw the installation of a modern water supply system and the building of an advanced electrification plant.

He also took advantage of the Irish Labourers Act (1883) to pursue a plan to have all cabins demolished and replaced by a modern housing scheme. In all of these enterprises, Sheehan could count on the support of Lord Castletown of Upper Ossory (Bernard Edward Barnaby FitzPatrick, 2nd Baron Castletown), who had married Lord Doneraile's only child, the Honourable Emily Ursula Clare St. Leger. Perhaps it is not completely coincidental that all of these social projects are ruminated on by Sheehan's fictional Parish Priest in, what was perhaps his most successful novel, My New Curate.

One of Canon Shehan's inherited pastoral duties in Doneraile, which he well acquitted, was to act as an independent intermediary between Viscount Doneraile and his tenantry; and between the tenantry and their landlord, so as to avoid the levels of agrarian strife experienced on beleaguered estates such as those of the nearby Earl of Kingston, and to secure the de facto religious liberty traditionally enjoyed by Catholics on the Doneraile estates. Sheehan's arrival in the parish came at a sensitive moment as tenants began the process of purchasing their holdings from the Doneraile, and other smaller local estates, under the terms of the Ashbourne Land Purchase Acts of 1885 and 1887. The Parish Priest of Doneraile was frequently asked to assist tenants in their approaches to the local land agents to agree terms for the purchase of their holdings.

While something of a traditional expectation of a 19th-century Irish Parish Priest, this practical social engagement on Sheehan's part needs to be understood in the wider context of the Catholic intellectual response to the challenge thrown down to capitalism, marxism and socialism by Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical letter Rerum novarum of 1891.

As many of the contemporary theological journals published in Germany, Belgium and France make evident, Catholic theologians, rejecting Marxism, socialism, and the excesses of capitalism, debated and formulated social solutions that would come from the combined actions of the Church, the State, the employer and the employee, and elaborated in greater detail the principles to be used in seeking justice in industrial, social, and economic life. While Sheehan was aware of the social question of his time, and was actively engaged in the great contemporary social evolution directly affecting him in his parish, he can never be regarded as having in any manner espoused the Zeitgeist, as quickly emerges from his portrayal of such a priest in his novel Luke Delmege published in 1901 and, not surprisingly, translated into all of the major European languages.

File:Picture of Canon Sheehan.jpg
Canon Sheehan in 1898

Writing to the editor of the Irish Ecclesiastical Record in 1913, the then Bishop's Secretary, Fr. William Browne, thus described Sheehan: "He was always courteous and polite, of course, but very silent. When he first came home as a young priest from England, he was stationed here in Queenstown. I rather thought that his silent, reserved manner would have kept people in awe of him, yet when he died, all the older generation had instances to relate of his unostentatious kindness, especially to the poor and sick".

In 1904 he was appointed a Canon of the Chapter of Cloyne and assigned to the prebendary of Kilenemer. He was conferred, honoris causa, with a doctorate in Divinity in February 1902 by Pope Leo XIII. In August 1902, he was the recipient of a Doctorate in Literature from the University of St. Albertus Magnus, Wichita, Kansas.

Literary career

Sheehan's literary career modestly began in 1881 with a series of essays published in The Irish Ecclesiastical Record on subjects ranging from religious instruction in intermediate schools to the effects of emigration on the Church; from the philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson to the political significance of Léon Gambetta in post-war France; from liberal thought in the United States to a theological critique of a current of patristic thinking in England and in the United States that saw St Augustine of Hippo as the Martin Luther of his age. At a time of intense interest in education and educational methods in Ireland, he made a significant impact on public debate by drawing attention to European educational theories and particularly to the importance of the German Universities.[4][5]

During this early period, Sheehan began long associations with the Irish Monthly, founded in Dublin in 1873 by T. A. Finlay and Fr. Matthew Russell, S.J., to commemorate the Ireland's consecration to the Sacred Heart; with the Dublin Review, a quarterly journal of high literary merit, founded for the diffusion of Catholic theology in 1836 by Nicholas Wiseman, Daniel O'Connell and Michael Joseph Quin; and with the Catholic Truth Society, established in 1884 by Herbert Vaughan for the popular promotion of Catholic doctrine. Several pamphlets would be written by him for the Catholic Truth Society on subjects such as Thoughts on the Immaculate Conception, The Canticle of the Magnificat, and Our Personal and Social Responsibilities.

He attracted much attention in Ireland, England, on the continent as well as in the United States through his observations in literary and religious magazines on issues related to clerical life, education and philosophy. He wrote a number of children's stories and published works of poetry, his sermons and his collected essays. Several of his books were translated and published in German, French, Irish, Hungarian, Polish, Czech, Slovenian, Spanish, Ukrainian, Dutch, Flemish and Italian.[3]

Sheehan is best remembered as a novelist; in his novel My New Curate, he recounts an incident of a clerical appointment that may well be autobiographical and refer to his arrival in Doneraile: "The Bishop sent for me and said, with what I would call a tone of pity or contempt, but he was incapable of either, for he was the essence of charity and sincerity: 'Father Dan, you are a bit of a literateur, I understand. Kilronan is vacant. You'll have plenty of time for poetising and dreaming there. What do you say to it?' I put on a little dignity, and though my heart was beating with delight, I quietly thanked his Lordship. But, when I had passed beyond the reach of episcopal vision, which is far stretching enough, I spun my hat in the air, and shouted like a schoolboy: 'Hurrah!'".

Political activist

File:Canon Sheehan funeral.jpg
Sheehan's Funeral Procession, Doneraile, Co. Cork, 8 October 1913

Sheehan first became politically engaged after the passing of the Wyndham Land Purchase Act in 1903, authored by William O'Brien MP., and set in motion by D. D. Sheehan MP. of Kanturk, the Canon encouraging and giving advice to local tenant farmers in the area around Doneraile to purchase their leases under the act from the local landlords.[6] The success of land purchase in Cork was much to the frustration of John Redmond's Irish Party (IPP) who believed that a national Home Rule movement could not survive without social grievances and without the antagonism of Catholic and Protestant.

Sheehan was a founder and leading member of the All-for-Ireland League (AFIL) launched by William O'Brien in 1910 in opposition to Redmond's party, O'Brien advocating the unity of Catholic and Protestant interests in all walks of Irish political, social and cultural life. Sheehan stood and spoke on platforms advocating the principles of the League, which returned eight Independent M.P.s in the December elections.

Sheehan wrote the manifesto of the movement in a very long editorial for the first issue of the League's new newspaper,[7][8][9] O'Brien's radical Cork Free Press in June 1910, which was a manifestation of Joseph Devlin's militantly Catholic Ancient Order of Hibernians, whose members were also members of the IPP, largely influencing its political course, particularly against any form of concessions to Ulster as advocated by the AFIL. The League, so successful in Cork, was less successful elsewhere. Its principles of establishing a movement of a new kind to attract rather than repel Unionist and Protestant support for an All-Ireland Home Rule settlement, while influentially limited, did motivate a worthy political initiative.

File:The Grave of Canon Sheehan.jpg
Headstone marking the grave of Canon Sheehan at the entrance of the parish church, Doneraile

Perhaps the most remarkable side of Sheehan was his vision of a reorganised Irish society which he hoped would take shape in an Independent Ireland. His nationalism was neither exclusively Gaelic nor Catholic and best portrayed by him in his novel The Intellectuals (1911), whose archetypical characters of man and women of Catholic and Protestant background from Ireland, England and Scotland, meet to discuss current issues of the day, Sheehan in the preface saying "that his object was to show that there really was no invincible antagonism amongst the people who make up the commonwealth of Ireland that may not be removed by a freer and kindlier intercourse with each other".

Literary celebrity

Lord and Lady Castletown of Doneraile Court befriended Sheehan and held him in the highest esteem. His success as a writer had turned him into a celebrity, and whenever the Castletowns had guests of note, they were invariably brought to meet the man of letters. It was through them that the Canon met the American Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes for the first time in 1903.

A ten-year correspondence ensued, ended only by Sheehan's death.[10] In a letter to the Jesuit Father Herman Heuser, Sheehan's American biographer, Holmes explained: "I was at Doneraile and called every day after luncheon, that time being the best for him. He knew, and I feared, he was dying, though I did not admit it. He bade me go to his library and select a book. On his assurance, I took Francisco Suárez's De Legibus, which I had heard him praise, and it bears his inscription. I wish I could have offered him something besides affection and reverence for his lovely spirit".[11]

Sheehan was diagnosed with a fatal illness in 1910 but refused to undergo surgery, carrying out his parish duties until he died of cancer on the evening of Rosary Sunday, 5 October 1913. Towards the end of his life he had begun to write an autobiography, but burned the manuscript a few days before his death believing that "it might do harm to others".[12]

University College Cork Digitisation Project

In the context of its Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT), University College Cork has begun a digitisation project to make Sheehan's extensive literary oeuvre available on line. The project began with the publication of his poems and essays which are normally difficult to access in printed form. Over a period of time, all of Canons Sheehan's works will be added to the digital collection.[13]



  • Geoffrey Austin, Student, M. H. Gill & Son, Dublin (1895)[14]
  • My New Curate (1899)[15] ISBN 0-85342-877-8
  • Our Personal and Social Responsibilities (1900)
  • Cithera Mea, Marlier and Callanan, Boston (1900)[16]
  • The Triumph of Failure, Burns and Oates, London (1901)[17]
  • The Canticle of the Magnificat, Dublin (1901)
  • Luke Delmege, Longmans, Green & Co., London & New York (1901)[18]
  • Mater Dolorosa, Catholic Truth Society, Dublin (1901)
  • Mariae Corona, Benzinger Brothers, New York (1902)[19]
  • Collection of Sermons and Essays
  • Holy Week and the Festival of Easter, Catholic Truth Society, Dublin (1902)
  • St. Domnick and St. Teresa, Catholic Truth Society, Dublin (1902)
  • Under the Cedars and the Stars, Dolphin Press, Philadelphia (1903)
  • How Character is Formed (1904)
  • An Aged and Youthful Confessor (1904)
  • Glenanaar, Longmans, Green & Co., London and New York (1905)[20] ISBN 0-86278-195-7
  • A Spoiled Priest and Other Stories (1905)
  • Early Essays and Lectures. London: Longmans, Green, & Co., (1906)
  • Lisheen, Longman, Green & Co., London and New York (1907)[21]
  • Parerga, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1908)[22]
  • The Blindness of Dr. Gray, or, The Final Law, Longmans, Green & Co,London and New York (1909)[23]
  • The Intellectuals. An Experiment in Irish High Club-Life, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1911)[23]
  • The Queen's Fillet, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1911)[24]
  • Miriam Lucas, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1912)[24]
  • The Graves at Kilmorna, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1915)[25]
  • Sermons, New York (1920)
  • The Literary Life and Other Essays (1921).
  • Thoughts on the Immaculate Conception (1924)
  • Tristram Lloyd (1928)
  • The Greatest Doctor (1930)

Articles, Essays, Sketches and Reviews

  • Religious Instruction in Intermediate Schools. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, September 1881.
  • The Life and Influence of St. Augustine. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XVIII, May and June 1890, pp. 200–209 and 241–246.[26]
  • The two civilisations. Parts I and II. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XVIII, June and July 1890, pp. 293–301 and 358–367.[27]
  • The Seraph of Assisi. In The Irish Monthly, Vol. XVII, September 1890, pp. 468–479.[28]
  • Irish Youth and High Ideals. In The Irish Monthly, Vol. XIX, January 1891, pp. 39–54.[29]
  • Impressions of Tennyson. In The Irish Monthly, Vol. XX, November 1892, pp. 602–606.
  • The First Sin: a poem beginning "I said the prayer: 'Into Thy hands'". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXI, October 1893, pp. 526–530.
  • The Effects of Emigration on the Church. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record.[30]
  • Gambetta. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record.
  • Emerson's Philosophy. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record
  • Free-Thought in America. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record.
  • Education at German Universities. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record.[31]
  • The German and Gallic Muse. In: The Irish Ecclesiastical Record.[32]
  • Recent Works on St. Augustine. In: The Dublin Review, July 1888.
  • A Sunday in Dartmoor. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXII, February 1894, pp. 80–88.[33]
  • Mr. Aubrey de Vere's New Volume. In The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXII, March 1894, pp. 126–138.
  • The Golden Jubilee of O'Connell's death. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXV, July 1897, pp. 337–350.
  • Optimism v. Pessimism. I. In Literature. II. In daily life. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXV, January 1897, pp. 39–52.
  • The Dead and One of our Dead. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXV, September 1897, pp. 489–494.
  • Known by Fruits. In: Irish Monthly, vol. XXVI, n.295 (January 1898), pp. 21–27.
  • Literary Criticism. In The American Ecclesiastical Review, Vol. XVIII, June 1898, p. 591.
  • Our personal and social responsibilities. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVII, May and June 1899, pp. 225–233 and 292–304.[34]
  • The Literary Movement in Ireland. In: Sacred Heart Review (Boston), vol. 26, no. 20, 16 November 1901, pp. 308–309.
  • The Literary Movement in Ireland. In: Sacred Heart Review (Boston), vol. 26, n.23, 7 December 1901, pp. 356–357.
  • Fr. Mac on Retreat: In The American Ecclesiastical Review, 1902.
  • Books that influenced "Luke Delmege". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXX, February 1902, pp. 109–114.[35]
  • Non-dogmatic religion. In: The New Ireland Review, Vol. XXIII, August 1905, pp. 321–333.
  • The Literary life. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXXVII, April 1909, pp. 181–202
  • Irish Primary Education. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XLV, January 1917, pp. 49–64.

Hymns, Poems and Sonnets

  • St. Augustine at Ostia: a poem beginning "At Ostia? Yes! "Twas the springtime. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XVI, June 1888, pp. 349–350.[36]
  • The First Sin: a poem beginning "I said the prayer: 'Into Thy hands'". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXI, October 1893, pp. 526–530.
  • Ave Atque Vale: a poem beginning "When with a song of heavenly mirth". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXI, December 1893, pp. 631–632.
  • Sentan the Culdee: a poem beginning "This is the vision of a man of God". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXIV, January 1896, pp. 1–10.[37]
  • Death, the magician: a poem beginning "For I do hate thee O thou spectre, Death". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXIV, November 1896, pp. 594–595.
  • Hymn to spring: a poem beginning "O Earth, awake from thy slumbers". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXV, April 1897, pp. 217–218.
  • On the Mer-de-Glace: a poem beginning "Hither God brought his rebel seas to try". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXV, August 1897, p. 439.[38]
  • Known by fruits. In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVI, January 1898, pp. 21–27.
  • The elf child: a poem beginning "Mother is this the storm-fiend". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVI, February 1898, p. 72.
  • Sonnets of travel: beginning "The dying sun had sucked his last red beam". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVI, April 1898, pp. 180–181.
  • My oratory lamp: a poem beginning "Lord, Thou hast kindled all Thy lamps tonight". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVI, June 1898, p. 320.
  • Swallows of Allah: a poem beginning "Swallows of Allah, unfurl your white wings". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVI, November 1898, pp. 601–602.
  • Thalassa! O Thalassa! a poem beginning: "Can you see the spine of yonder crest". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVII, April 1899, pp. 188–189.
  • The Leper Priest of Luneburg. In The Irish Monthly, Vol. 17, No. 196 (Oct. 1889), pp. 537–542.
  • Gachla, the druidess: a poem beginning "A relic of an old-time rune". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, January 1900, pp. 1–15.
  • The bird and the fly: a poem beginning "I saw a speck on my window pane". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, August 1900, pp. 482–483.[39]
  • A game of chess: a poem beginning "A square of black and a square of white". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXVIII, September 1900, pp. 523–524.
  • The cry of the curlews: a poem beginning "A lonely whitewashed cottage". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXIX, June 1901, pp. 287–288.[40]
  • To a post—two voices: a poem beginning "Strong watcher o'er the night wolds". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXXII, October 1904, pp. 600–604.
  • Woman and child: a poem beginning "We watched the sunset together". In: The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXXV, February 1907, pp. 83–86.


  • Lost Angel of a Ruined Paradise. A Play, Longmans, Green & Co, London and New York (1904)[41]


  • Songs and Poems, by Lizzie Twigg (1905)
  • Cardinal Mercier's Conferences (1910)


  1. Cf. Autobiographical Note in James O'Brien, The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1883–1913, pp. 293–295, SMENOS Publications (Wells) 2013ISBN 9780957552111
  2. Matthew Russell, The Author of My New Curate in The Dolphin, pp. 12–20, no. 1, January 1902
  3. 3.0 3.1 James O'Brien: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1852–1913: Outlines for a Literary Biography. Wells(GB): SMENOS Publications 2013. ISBN 9780957552166
  4. Arthur Coussens: P. A. Sheehan, zijn leven en zijn werken. Brugge 1923.
  5. Matthew Russell: The Author of My New Curate. In The Dolphin, vol. 1, no. 1 (January 1902), pp. 12–20.
  6. Michael Barry, By Pen and Pulpit: Life and Times of the Author Canon Sheehan, pp.39–42,Saturn Books, 1990. ISBN 0-9515387-1-3
  7. Clifford, Brendan, Canon Sheehan: A Turbulent Priest p.17, Irish Heritage Society, Dublin (1990) ISBN 1-873063-00-8
  8. James O'Brien, The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1883–1913 p. 185, SMENOS Publications (Wells) 2013 ISBN 9780957552111
  9. James O'Brien, The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1883–1913, p. 186, SMENOS Publications (Wells)2013 ISBN 9780957552111
  10. David Henry Burton Holmes-Sheehan Correspondence: The letters of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan, Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1976. ISBN 0-8046-9164-9
  11. Herman Heuser Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, p. 387, Longmans and Green, New York and London 1917
  12. Herman Heuser Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, p. 387, Longmans and Green, New York and London 1917
  13. "List of Published Texts at CELT". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Geoffrey Austin, student". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "My New Curate". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Cithara mea; poems". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "The triumph of failure". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Luke Delmege". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Mariae Corona ; chapters on the Mother of God and her saints". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Glenanaar". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Lisheen; or, The test of the spirits". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Parerga: a companion volume to Under the cedars and the stars". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 "The blindness of Dr. Gray, or, The final law". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. 24.0 24.1 "The queen's fillet". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "The graves at Kilmorna". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "The Life and Influence of Saint Augustine". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "The Two Civilisations". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "The Seraph of Assisi". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Irish Youth and High Ideals". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "The Effect of Emigration on the Irish Church". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "The German Universities". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "The German and Gallic Muses". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "A Sunday in Dartmoor". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "Our Personal and Social Responsibilities". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "Books that influenced "Luke Delmege"". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "St. Augustine at Ostia". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "Sentan the Culdee". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "On the Mer-de-Glace". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "The Bird and the Fly". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "The Cry of the Curlews". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. ""Lost angel of a ruined paradise" : a drama of modern life". Retrieved 2015-10-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

  • Russell, Matthew (1902). "The Author of My New Curate," The Dolphin, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 12–20.
  • Russell, Matthew (1902). "Concerning the Author of 'Luke Delmege'," The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXX, pp. 661–669.
  • Gwynn, Stephen (1903). To-Day and To-Morrow in Ireland. Dublin: Hodges Figgis, pp. 142–157.
  • C.P. (1904). "Dr. Sheehan's New Book: An Appreciation," The Irish Monthly, Vol. XXXII, No. 367, pp. 13–17
  • Magee, William Kirkpatrick (1904). "The Breaking of the Ice," Dana, Vol. I, pp. 13–19.
  • Flood, W. H. Grattan (1905). "Dr. Sheehan's New Novel: a Review of "Glenanaar" by Canon Sheehan", The New Ireland review, Vol. XXIII, pp. 380–382.
  • James, Michael (1907). "Some Aspects of Canon Sheehan", New Ireland Review, Vol. XXVI, pp. 365–371; Vol. XXVII, pp. 15–27.
  • Pelly, Cornelia (1908). "An Hour with Canon Sheehan," Irish Monthly, Vol. XXXVI, No. 426, pp. 689–693.
  • Concannon, Helena (1910). "Canon Sheehan's Woman Characters," The Leader, 13 and 20 September 1910.
  • Sophie O'Brien: Canon Patrick Sheehan, DD. In America, Vol. 10, no. 2, [October 1913], p. 48.
  • M.M.B., Canon Sheehan at Home in Doneraile. In: The Irish Monthly, vol. 43, n. 506, August 1915, pp. 529–534.
  • John D. Colclough, Canon Sheehan: A Reminiscence and an Appreciation. In Studies, vol. VI, no. 22, June 1917, pp. 275–288.
  • Horgan, John (1914). "Canon Sheehan: A Memory And An Appreciation," The Catholic World, Vol. XCVIII, pp. 486–95.
  • Herman Joseph Heuser: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile: the story of an Irish parish priest as told chiefly by himself in books, personal memoirs, und letters. New York: Longmans & Co., 1917
  • George O'Neill: A relic of Canon Sheehan. In Studies, Vol. VI, no. 23, September 1917, pp. 385–397.
  • John J. Horgan: "Canon Sheehan of Doneraile by Herman Heuser book review. In Studies, vol. VII, no. 25, March 1918, pp. 48–51.
  • Maurice F. Egan: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile. In The Atlantic Monthly, September 1918, pp. 368–370.
  • Shane Leslie: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile. In Dublin Review, vol. 162 (1918).
  • Daniel Corkery: The Neglect of Canon Sheehan. In Irish Independent, 30 May 1924.
  • Cecilia Williams: The constructive ideas of Canon Sheehan's fiction, M.A. thesis submitted to the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) 1924.
  • Francis Boyle (Curate of Cooley, Carlingford): Canon Shehan: a Sketch of his Life and Works. Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son 1927.
  • Sophie O'Brien: Memories of Canon Sheehan. In Studies, Vol. XIX September 1930, pp. 492–498.
  • Irma Louise Henry: Catholic leadership and Catholic Action in the works of Canon Sheehan, B.A. thesis submitted to Xavier University of Louisiana, 1932.
  • Armand P Laverdiere: Clerical life in Ireland according to Canon Sheehan's works, M.A. thesis submitted to St. Mary's Seminary (Baltimore, Md.), 1932.
  • William F. P. Stockley: Essays in Irish Biography. Cork 1933
  • Mary Carmelita Harmon: The mystical in Canon Sheehan's works, M.A. thesis submitted to Creighton University, 1935.
  • Sophie Raffalovich O'Brien: My Irish Friends. Dublin, London, Burns, Oates & Washbourne 1937.
  • Alice Vale: Canon Sheehan and Social Reform:Dissertation accepted for higher degrees in the Graduate school of Arts and Sciences, Volumes 1–10, Fordham University 1937.
  • M. H. Rev. Gaffney, Dr. Herman J. Houser and Canon Sheehan. In The Irish ecclesiastical record, Ser. 5, Vol. LIV, pp. 367–374, October 1939.
  • Donnchadh Mechan: Canon Sheehan. In The Bookman, Vol. II, n.3, December 1947, pp. 46–59.
  • Francis MacManus: The fate of Canon Sheehan. In The Bell, Vol. XV, n.2, November 1947, pp. 16–27.
  • James Hurley: The Nationalism of Canon Sheehan, an unpublished thesis presented for the degree of Master of Arts, University College Cork (1950).
  • J. B. Morton: A Forward. In: The Graves at Kilmorna, Clonmore and Reynolds, Dublin 1950.
  • Michael P. Linehan: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile: Priest, Novelist, Man of Letters. Dublin: Talbot Press 1952.
  • Gladys V. Towers, Canon Sheehan. In The IrishMonthly, Vol. LXXX, March 1952, pp. 112–117.
  • Thomas Halton, The Theology of Canon Sheehan. In The Irish Ecclesiastical Record, Ser. 5, Vol. LXXIII, December 1952, pp. 431–439.
  • Fr. Senan, OFM Cap. (edt): The Capuchin Annual 1952 Dublin 1952.
  • John Henning: The Place of German Theology in Works of Canon Sheehan. In Irish Ecclesiastical Review, Ser. 5, Vol. LXXX December 1953, pp. 379–387.
  • John Hennig: A Note on Canon Sheehan's Interest in German Literature. In: The Modern Language Review, 49 [1954], pp. 352–355.
  • Benedict Kiely: Canon Sheehan: The Reluctant Novelist. In Irish Writing, no. 37, Autumn 1957, pp. 35–45.
  • Kenneth Macgowan: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile. [With a portrait.]. Dublin: Catholic Truth Society of Ireland 1963.
  • Kenneth McElligott: The figure of the priest in the novels of Canon Sheehan, an M.A. thesis submitted to St. Bonaventure University, New York, 1965.
  • Anthony Coleman: Canon Sheehan: The Dilemma of Priest and Artist. In Studies, (Spring 1969), pp. 215–145.
  • Oliver McDonagh: The nineteenth century novel and Irish social history : some aspects [O'Donnell lecture delivered at University College Cork on 21 April 1970], National University of Ireland, 1970.
  • Liam Brophy,Canon Sheehan: the Great European. In: Eirig, November 1972, pp. 12–13.
  • Jeremiah Lovett: Visionen and technique in the Novels of Canon Sheehan, a thesis presented for the degree of Master of Arts, Maynooth, 1974.
  • Patrick Braybrooke: Some Victorian and Georgian Catholics. Ayre Publishing, 1977. ISBN 0-8369-1325-6.
  • John R. Aherne: Serendipity : essays on Robert Hugh Benson, Maurice Baring, Alice Meynell, G.K. Chesterton, Patrick Sheehan, Kate Chopin, Merrimack College Press 1985.
  • Robert Forde: Canon Sheehan: From Unpublished Letters. In: Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 4 [1986]
  • Tom Gavin: Priests and Patriots: Irish Separation and Fear of the Modern, 1890–1914. In: Irish Historical Studies, vol. 25, n. 97 (May 1986), pp. 67–81.
  • Brendan Clifford: Canon Sheehan: A Turbulent Priest. Millstreet, Co. Cork: Aubane Historical Society; Dublin: Irish Heritage Society, 1990. ISBN 1-873063-00-8
  • Michael Barry: By Pen and Pulpit: Life and Times of the Author Canon Sheehan. Saturn Books, 1990. ISBN 0-9515387-1-3
  • Mary O'Neill: A view from the pulpit : the novels of Canon Sheehan, a thesis presented for the degree of Master of Arts, University College Cork (1990).
  • John Cronin:Canon Sheehan, Luke Delege: In The Anglo-Irish Novel: 1900–1940, Vol II, Appletree: Belfast 1990, pp. 22–29.
  • David H. Burton: The Friendship of Justice Holmes and Canon Sheehan. In Harvard Library Bulletin, Vo. 25, n.2 [April 1977].
  • David Henry Burton (Hrsg.): Holmes-Sheehan Correspondence: The letters of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan.
    Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1976. ISBN 0-8046-9164-9 Revised edition: Fordham University Press 1993. ISBN 0-8232-1525-3
  • D. M. Collie: The Nineteenth-Century Novel: A Postscript: The Case for Canon Sheehan (1852–1913). In The Linen Hall Review, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Winter, 1993), p. 8.
  • Catherine Candy: Priestly Fictions: Popular Irish Novelists of the Early 20th. Century; Patrick A. Sheehan, Joseph Guinam, Gerald O'Donovan. Dublin: Wolfhound Press 1995. ISBN 0-86327-334-3
  • Alix Davis, The Novels of Canon Sheehan. [Oral Presentation], Department of English Public Lecture, University College, Cork, 9 February 1995.
  • Robert Forde: Canon Sheehan: Unpublished Manuscripts 1. In: Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 13 [1995]
  • Robert Welch, Bruce Stewart edts.: Oxford Companion to Irish Literature: article on Canon Sheehan, Oxford University Press 1996, p. 518
  • Ruth Fleischmann: Catholic Nationalism in the Irish Revival: A Study of Canon Sheehan 1852–1913. Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan 1997. ISBN 0-333-68943-7 ; ISBN 0-312-17366-0
  • William H. Murphy: Catholic Fiction and Social Reality in Ireland 1873–1922, Greenwood Publishing, Westpoint CT, 1997.
  • Gerard Moran (editor): Radical Irish Priests, 1660–1970. Dublin: Four Courts Press 1998. ISBN 1-85182-249-6; ISBN 1-85182-281-X
  • Benedict Kiely: A Raid into Dark Corners: and other Essays: Cork: Cork University Press 1999.
  • Robert Forde: Canon Sheehan: Unpublished Manuscripts 2. In: Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 20 [2002]
  • Lawrence McBride: 'Sheehan, Patrick Augustine'. In: 'Oxford Dictionary of National Biography', Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Tom Garvin: The Quiet Tragedy of Canon Sheehan: in Studies, vol. 98, Summer (2009).
  • Patrick Maume: Sheehan,(Canon) Patrick Augustine. In James McGuire and James Quinn (edts.), Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2009. ISBN 9780521633314
  • Sheridan Gilley: Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan: Priest and Novelist. In Peter Clarke (edt.), The Church and Literature, Ecclesiastical History Society,Warrington(GB), 2012. ISBN 9780954680992
  • Nora O'Keeffe: Canon Sheehan. In: Small Town Big History: Glimpses of 20th Century Doneraile, Doneraile 2012.
  • Bobby Buckley: Canon Sheehan: The Gardener/Philosopher of Doneraile. In: Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 30 [2012].
  • James O'Brien: The Collected Letters of Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1883–1913. Wells(GB): SMENOS Publications 2013. ISBN 9780957552111
  • Mary Layland: Local Leader. In: Irish Times, 30 April 2013.
  • Sarah McDonald: Canon Sheehan: the Author Priest of Doneraile. In: Catholic Life (London), June 2013, pp. 36–38.
  • Don O'Leary: Faith, Nature and Science in the Works of Canon Sheehan. In: New Hibernia Review, vol. 17, no. 2, (Summer 2013), pp. 119–135.
  • James O'Brien: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1852–1913: Outlines for a Literary Biography. Wells(GB): SMENOS Publications 2013. ISBN 9780957552166
  • Peter Costello: Canon Sheehan Restored to Prominence. In:The Irish Catholic (3 October 2013, p. 29).
  • Peter Costello: A Canon of Rich Literature. In: The Irish Catholic (10 October 2013, p. 14).
  • Peter Costello: The Life and Thought of Canon Sheehan. In: The Irish Catholic (28 November 2013).
  • Brian McKevitt: Priest Turned Novel Writer. In Alive, n. 195, December 2013.
  • James O'Brien: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile Centenary 1913–2013. In: The Vale Star: Christmas Supplement 2013, pp. 42–45.
  • Brian Fanning & Tom Garvin: The Books That Define Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2014. ISBN 9781908928443
  • Fiona Lynch: Canon Sheehan of Doneraile: Outlines for a Literary Biography (a review). In: The Catholic Voice 18 May 2014, p. 22.
  • Gabriel Doherty (edt.):Revisiting Canon Sheehan of Doneraile 1852-1913: Author, Activist, Priest. Wells (GB): SMENOS Publications 2014. ISBN 9781910388068
  • J. Anthony Gaughan, Canon Sheehan restored to the Pantheon of Irish literature. In: The Irish Catholic (1 March 2015).
  • Lawrence W McBride, Sheehan, Patrick Augustine, article in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Online.
  • James O'Brien: Canon Burton's Sketch of Canon Sheehan. In: Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 38 [2015]
  • James O'Brien: Lord Castletown's Sketch of Canon Sheehan. In Journal of the Mallow Field Club, no. 39 [2016]

External links