THE cloudsparted and the sun shone down on Mountrath last week as a large crowd gathered on the Rushin Road bridge for the unveiling of the Bishop Daniel Delany memorail.
Bishop Delany was instrumental in bringing education to the people of Mountrath and the surrounding areas as he set up both the Brigidine Sisters and the Patrician Brothers.
This memorial is the culmination of many years of hard work for the sub committee set up from Mountrath Development Association. The memorial itself was created by sculptor Michael Burke and the inscription was carved by Seamus Dunbarr.
Speaking at the launch was committee member Dr Dwyer who told the large attendance about the history of the Bishop’s life. Bishop Delaney was born in Paddock only a couple of miles from Mountrath in 1747. After training as a priest in Paris, he returned to his hometown and upon seeing the suffering and lawlessness which was rife across the county, he decided to stay and set up schools, beginning first by teaching children and adults catechisms. In the early 19th century he set up both the Brigidine Sisters and the Patrician Brothers.
MC for the unveiling was committee member Anne Hetherington, who was instrumental in bringing the memorial to fruition. She told the audience that the committee were “delighted” with the memorial and thanked all involved with the project.
Children were a big part of the ceremony and Camross Comhaltas students ably provided the soundtrack for the event, while pupils of Camross NS, Paddock NS, St Fintan’s BNS and Scoil Bhride all gave readings of famous quotes from the bishop.
Then crowd then read Bishop Daniel Delany’s prayer. Fr Hennessy then spoke and told the crowd to “give thanks for the legacy of his life”. He said that education and spiritual formation were at the cornerstone of the Bishop’s work and hoped that “all who pass this memorial may stop and reflect on the life of Bishop Daniel Delany”.
Brother Cormac from the Patrician Brothers thanked everyone involved, and gave special mention to the Bennett family from Paddock who have looked after Bishop Delany’s birthplace, which is located on their land. He added that he hoped that the memorial would inspire others to think about what he stood for. Sister Carmel from the Brigidine Sisters complimented the “beautiful piece of artwork” and told everyone, “nobody now can dispute where his roots are. As a native of Mountrath I am very proud”.