Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Myles William Patrick O'Reilly

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 11
Myles William Patrick O'Reilly

by William Henry Grattan Flood


Soldier, publicist, littérateur, b. near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, Ireland, 13 March, 1825; d. at Dublin, 2 Feb., 1880. In 1841 he entered Ushaw College (England), and graduated a B. A. of London University. From 1845 to 1847 he studied in Rome, and then returned to Ireland to assist the famine-stricken peasants. In 1851 he was associated with Newman and Archbishop Leahy to report on the projected Catholic University, and in 1854 he became captain of the Louth Rifles. He married Miss Ida Jerningham, 3 Aug., 1859. Some months later he offered his services to Pius IX, against Garibaldi. Having formed an Irish Brigade, he was appointed major, under General Pimodan, and fought gallantly in every engagement until the surrender of Spoleto, 18 Sept., 1860. From 1862 to 1876 he represented County Longford in the British Parliament, and was one of those who signed the requisition for the famous Home Rule Conference under Isaac Butt. He ably supported Catholic interests, and assisted in the movement to obtain Catholic chaplains for the army. He wrote "Sufferings for the Faith in Ireland" (London, 1868). He also contributed to the "Dublin Review" and other periodicals, writing in defence of the Holy See and of Catholic educational matters. After the death of his wife in 1876, he accepted the position of Assistant Commissioner of Intermediate Education for Ireland in April, 1879, which he filled until his death. He was interred at Philipstown, not far from his family residence in Co. Louth.

O'Clery, The Making of Italy (London, 1898); Contemporary newspapers; Conry, The Irish Brigade in Italy (Dublin, 1907); Gogarty, MS. Memoir (1910).

W. H. Grattan-Flood.