The Little Ark of Kilbaha. - Bishop Denis Kelly

Bishop Denis Kelly

Bishop Denis Kelly ( -1924), of the diocese of Ross, Co. Cork, died in 1924, and was buried in St.. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral, Skibbereen, Co. Cork. He was born in Kilnaneauve, Nenagh, Co.. Tipperary, and was the eldest son of William and Bridget (nee Butler) Kelly. Educated at St.. Flannan’s College, Ennis, Co.. Clare, and the Irish College, Paris, where he took 1st. Prize in Classics, Mathematics, Mental Philosophy, Theology, Scripture, and Canon Law, and was awarded a Ph.D. Ordained on March 17th., 1877, he was appointed curate back in Ireland for a short time. He was appointed professor at St.. Flannan’s and later Vice-President before finally becoming President of the College. In 1897, he was appointed Bishop of Ross (smallest diocese in Ireland). A champion of the working classes, and a recognized authority on education, he served on the Agricultural Board of Ireland, and was a member of the Royal Commission on Poor Law and Relief of Distress, the Cabinet Committee on Irish Finances (1911), and the National Education Committee of Inquiry (1913). He was a member of the Irish Convention, which sought to bring about a settlement of the Home Rule Question, acceptable to both the North and South of Ireland. He was vehemently opposed to the Easter Rising in 1916, and denounced it as an “unlawful war”, and he declared that “the killing of men was murder, pure and simple”. He used as his motto “Turis Fortis, Mihi Deus”, which suggests that his ancestors came from Hy-Many.


The Royal Commission on the Poor Laws and Relief of Distress 1905-09 was a body set up by the British Parliament in order to investigate how the Poor Law system should be changed. The commission included Poor Law guardians, members of the Charity Organisation Society, members of local government boards as well as the social researchers Charles Booth and Beatrice Webb.

Canon Edmund Kelly, M.C., P.P., V.F., parish priest of Killenaule and Moyglass, Co. Tipperary, died on October 11, 1955. He was born in Newtown, New Inn, Co. Tipperary in June 1874 and was ordained in Maynooth in 1900. He was sent as a temporary missionary to South Africa in 1900. He was recalled to his home diocese in 1911 and served as curate in Mullaghahone until 1915. He became a military chaplain in 1915 and served in World War 1. In 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross “for un daunting assistance to the injured and dying in East Ypres. He was appointed curate of Tipperary in 1922 and remained there until 1934, when he was made parish priest in Killenaule and Moyglass.

Dr. Joe M Kelly. Oranmore, Co Galway.