Posts by Lachlan.Kelly

127 years ago…

Posted by on Aug 10, 2017 in News | 0 comments

 

On this day 127 years ago, John Boyle O’Reilly passed away from heart failure at the age of 46. The death caused a mass mourning in the United States. O’Reilly also received many tributes.

“It is a public calamity—not only a loss to the country, but a loss to the Church, and to humanity in general.” – Cardinal James Gibbons

“I have heard with sincere regret that John Boyle O’Reilly is dead. I regarded him as a strong and able man, entirely devoted to any cause he espoused, unselfish in his activity, true and warm in his friendship, and patriotic in his enthusiasm.” – Former US President Grover Cleveland

“Accept my profound sympathy in your great loss and the great public loss. Your husband combined, as no other man, some of the noblest qualities of the Irishman and the American.” – US Senator George Frisbie Hoar in a telegram sent to O’Reilly’s wife.

“I have always had a great admiration for the man ever since he came to my parish as a member. As for his career before that time that, too, commands my respect and admiration. He was a single-minded, open-hearted man—a man who loved liberty for itself, and who wished everybody to have a fair chance. He was a good husband, a good father, a good Catholic and a good man.”  – O’Reilly’s parish priest Rev. J.W McMahon.

“John Boyle O’Reilly was a man of heroic mold and nature; brave, adventurous, patriotic, enthusiastic, with the perfervidum ingenium, which belongs quite as much to the Irish as to the Scotch. We have been proud of him as an adopted citizen, feeling always that his native land could ill spare so noble a son. His poems show what he might have been had he devoted himself to letters. His higher claim is that he was a true and courageous lover of his country and of his fellow, men” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

O’Reilly’s funeral was held on August 13th and was attended by many friends, family, citizens of Boston and also many identities associated O’Reilly, including  O’Donovan Rossa, Michael Fitzgerald, James A. Wrenn, Capt. Lawrence O’Brien, and Denis Cashman.

O’Reilly was buried originally in Calvary Cemetery in Roxbury but 3 months later his remains were exhumed and moved to Holyhood Cemetery in Brookline.

 

 

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