O'Halloran, Joseph Ignatius, 1718-1800, Jesuit priest

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O'Halloran, Joseph Ignatius, 1718-1800, Jesuit priest

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  • Josephus Halloran
  • Josephus Ignatius Halloran

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24 March 1718-04 November 1800


Born: 24 March 1718, Limerick, City, County Limerick
Entered: 15 August 1738, Bordeaux, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)
Ordained: 1748/9, Poitiers, France
Final Vows: 15 August 1753
Died: 04 November 1800, Townsend Street, Dublin

1749 At Bordeaux College teaching Grammar and Rhetoric 6 years
1757-1758 At Bordeaux College teaching Humanities, Rhetoric, Physics, Philosophy and Logic
1761 At La Rochelle teaching Theology
Generally called Ignatius O’Halloran after found shelter at house of O’Halloran at Karock north of Limerick. In Clinton’s “True Devotion” called Dr O’Halloran Townsend St
In Carlow College there is a “Bonacina” with “Joseph O’Halloran Soc Iesu”
1791 Joseph O’Halloran of Dublin condemned the Oath of Allegiance
On 13th May 1770 Nano Nagle says “Ever since Mr O’Halloran has been here who has been informed of the truth of everything, nobody can interest himself more than he does for its success”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Father Gavin of ANG, is of his family.
1763 Had been Professor of Scholastic Theology at La Rochelle, and living at Rue des Cordiers, Paris, and the “Hotel garni, dit Hotel de S Pierre, chez le Seingneur Pantouffe” (Arrêt de la Cour du Parlement de Paris)
Ferrar’s 1787 “History of Limerick”, p 370, says that “he was born 19 March 1718; Was the elder brother of the famous Dr Sylvester O’Halloran; He was educated at the Jesuit College, Bordeaux, and intended to devote himself to the study of ‘physic’, but after a distinguished course of Philosophy, he entered the Novitiate as a Professor of Philosophy. He was the first to open the eyes of Bordeaux University to the futility of the Descartes principles. While Professor of Rhetoric, he published some fugitive pieces of merit, much applauded. Some of his religious tracts have already been printed. his Lectures on Philosophy were being prepared for press when he was appointed to the Chair of Divinity, in which he made no inconsiderable figure, till compelled by the Revolution of the Society (sic) to return to his native land, where he has distinguished himself by his zeal in instructing the ignorant, and by his talents in the pulpit. His sermons alone, when printed, will be no small gratification to the friends of religion and morality”. (Ferrar was a Protestant)
He went to Cork with Lord Dunboyne.
He was the early Confessor of Thomas Moore, the poet, who speaks of him in his “Travels of an Irish Gentleman”.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Michael and Mary née MacDonnell (of the Clarach family). Elder brother of the celebrated physician and historian, Dr. Sylvester O'Halloran
Had already studied Philosophy before Ent 1738 Bordeaux
1740-1745 After First Vows he was sent for Regency to La Rochelle
1745-1749 Sent to Grand Collège Poitiers for Theology and was Ordained there 1748/49
1749-1756 After his formation was completed he held a Chair of Philosophy at Bordeaux for seven years, and then a Chair of Dogmatic Theology at La Rochelle, and he was still there in 1761 at the expulsion of the Society from France
1763 Returned to Ireland and spent 10 years in Cork, until the total Suppression of the Society. He lived and worked at the Cork residence with Patrick Doran, both of them ministering at St Mary’s Chapel. He was known as a notable Preacher, but also a Catechist with children.
1773 After Suppression, he joined his colleagues in Dublin and signed their formal acceptance of the Brief of Suppression 04 February 1774. He was then incardinated in Dublin and a Curate at Townsend St Chapel (the predecessor of Westland Row) and died in Dublin 04 November 1800
1765 A Bill of Indictment was issued against “Joseph Halloran, Popish Priest and Jesuit (who is the person, along with the local Bishop had the daring insolence, publicly in a Popish Chapel near Shandon Church to set at defiance of the laws of the realm, by reflecting on and attempting to overthrow the fundamentals of the Established Church and in contempt of the indulgence given to Papists by our mild and gracious government) for endeavouring to pervert some of his Majesty’s Protestant subjects, and persuading them to embrace the erroneous doctrines of Popery”. It is possible that the case never came to Court, and there is no record of it. It may have been argued that a Catholic ceremony with doors could not be regarded as a public occasion.
1771 He was again reported for a similar offence “A gentleman of the tribe of Loyola, agreed with his Bishop to have public disputations on the consistency of the two religions. The Jesuit undertook to support the Protestants - the Bishop Popery. This controversy was carried on many days at the Chapel, to the entire refutation of the Protestant divine. The audience testified their joy by repeated shouts for this defeat by the strong arguments f his Lordship (as he is styled among them). This public insult to the laws, though known to every person in the town, did not raise a champion to assist the good-natured Jesuit, either amongst our magistrates or clergy. Alaz! They were employed in their departments, in sharing the loaves and fishes. However, a champion at length appeared - an honest cooper, with more zeal than wit, objected to some tenets urged by the Bishop, to his great confusion and dismay. Thus ended the farce, but the poor cooper paid dearly for his temerity. A party was made against him, who have since driven him to beggary and ruin”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Joseph O’Halloran 1718-1800
Joseph Ignatius O’Halloran was born in the North Liberties of Limerick in 1718. He was educated at the Jesuit College Bordeaux. He intended to become a doctor of Medicine, but he changed his mind and entered the Society at Bordeaux in 1745.

Appointed Professor of Philosophy, he was the first to open the eyes of the University of Bordeaux to the merits of the systems of Descartes and Newton. He was successively Professor of Rhetoric, Philosophy and Divinity at Bordeaux. Some fugitive pieces of great merit were written by him and were much admired by the University.

On the Suppression of the Society he returned to Ireland. He accompanied Dr Butler (Lord Dunboyne) to Cork and was attached to the North Chapel for years. From Cork he came to Dublin where he died on November 4th 1800, and he is buried the vaults of St Michan’s Church.

The following is an extract from Tom Moore’s “Travels of an Irish Gentleman” :
“I used set off early in the morning to ----- St Chapel, trembling all over with awe at the task that was before me, but resolved to tell the wordy. How vividly do I even at this moment remember, kneeling down by the confessional, and feeling my heart beat quicker as the sliding panel in the side opened, and I saw the meek and venerable form of Fr O’Halloran stooping to hear my whispered list of sins. The paternal look of the old man, the gentleness of his voice, even in rebuke, the encouraging hopes he gave of mercy as the sure reward of contrition and reformation – all these recollections come freshly ever to mind”.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note : Joseph O’Halloran
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07 February 1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
O’HALLORAN, JOSEPH IGNATIUS, born in Limerick, in 1726. After having passed his course of Philosophy with singular reputation under the Jesuits at Bordeaux, he entered their Novitiate. Appointed to the chair of Philosophy in that City, he had the merit and courage of introducing the Newtonian System. Promoted to the Professorship of Theology, he maintained his increasing reputation, until the persecutions of his Order compelled him to return to his native Country. Accompanying Lord Dunboyne to Cork, he spent several years in that City, where attaching himself to the North Chapel, he commenced Public Catechism, was most assiduous in the Confessional, and in preparing Children for their first Communion. He greatly distinguished himself by his talents in the Pulpit and was universally respected as a saintly Missioner, as a man of elevated mind, gentlemanly manners, and most prepossessing in his appearance.
This is the Reverend Father alluded to pp. 79-80 Vol 1. “Travels of an Irish Gentleman in search of Religion” by Thomas Moore Esq.
That he died in Dublin during the month of November, 1800, is certain and probably was buried in the vault of St. Michan s Church, where reposed the ashes of several of his BB.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.


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Aquitaniae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1564- (1564-)

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Aquitaniae Province of the Society of Jesus, 1564-


O'Halloran, Joseph Ignatius, 1718-1800, Jesuit priest

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Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, 1542-1773 (1542-1773)

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Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, 1542-1773


O'Halloran, Joseph Ignatius, 1718-1800, Jesuit priest

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