Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Slattery, Michael

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SLATTERY, MICHAEL (1785–1857), Roman catholic archbishop of Cashel, was born in Tipperary of parents of the farming class in 1785. He graduated M.A. in Trinity College, Dublin—an unusual course for a person intended for the priesthood of the Roman catholic church—and in 1805 he entered Carlow College as an ecclesiastical student. In 1809 he was admitted to clerical orders, and at the same time was appointed professor of philosophy to Carlow College. He left the college in 1815 for the pastorship of a parish in the archdiocese of Cashel. In June 1833 he was appointed president of Maynooth College; but six months later the archbishopric of Cashel was conferred on him by Gregory XVI, and he was consecrated on 24 Feb. 1834. When Sir Robert Peel's proposal in 1845 for the establishment of the Queen's University with the three Queen's Colleges of Cork, Belfast, and Galway, on undenominational lines led to a division of opinion in the Roman catholic episcopate, Slattery was a prominent member of the larger group of bishops who refused to support Dr. Daniel Murray [q. v.], the archbishop of Dublin, in his policy of giving ‘a fair trial’ to the colleges. Slattery and his friends insisted on the scheme of university education being at once condemned as dangerous to the faith and morals of catholics. This view was endorsed by a rescript from the propaganda, issued in 1847; and at a synod, held at Thurles in August 1850, the bishops unanimously took up a position hostile to the colleges. Slattery, who was an accomplished scholar and a profound theologian, died at Thurles on 5 Feb. 1857, and was interred in the catholic cathedral of the town. There is a portrait of him in Maynooth College.

[Healy's Centenary Hist. of Maynooth College; Fitzpatrick's Life of Bishop Doyle; and the Dublin newspapers of February 1857.]

M. MacD.