|Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh
and Primate of All Ireland
|Other posts||Bishop of Meath 1943–1946|
|Ordination||18 April 1908 (Priest)|
|Consecration||29 June 1942 (Bishop)|
|Created Cardinal||12 January 1953|
|Rank||Cardinal priest of S. Agata dei Goti|
|Birth name||John Francis D'Alton|
|Born||11 October 1882
Claremorris, County Mayo, Ireland
|Died||1 February 1963
|Buried||St Patrick's Cathedral Cemetery, Armagh|
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Parents||Joseph D'Alton and Mary D'Alton (née Brennan)|
John Francis D'Alton (11 October 1882 – 1 February 1963) was an Irish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Archbishop of Armagh and thus Primate of All Ireland from 1946 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953.
John D'Alton was born in Claremorris to Joseph D'Alton (d. 1 April 1883) and his wife Mary Brennan, at the height of the Land Wars in Ireland. He was baptised four days later, on 15 October 1882, with Michael and Mary Brennan acting as his godparents. D'Alton's mother had a daughter, Mollie Brennan, from a previous marriage; she remarried again after the Cardinal's father died in 1883.
He obtained an extensive education at Blackrock College, Holy Cross College in Clonliffe, the Royal University in Dublin, Irish College in Rome, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and National University in Dublin. He was a close friend of Éamon de Valera, whom he befriended at Blackrock College. In his first year in Blackrock, de Valera beat D'Alton in two subjects, Maths, which he would later go on to teach and, ironically, Religion. D'Alton was ordained to the priesthood on 18 April 1908, completing his studies in 1910. He then taught Ancient Classics, Latin, and Greek at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth until 1942, becoming its President in 1936, and was raised to the rank of Monsignor on 27 June 1938.
On 25 April 1942, he was appointed Coadjutor bishop of Meath and Titular bishop of Binda. D'Alton received his episcopal consecration on the following 29 June from Cardinal Joseph MacRory, with Bishops Edward Mulhern and William MacNeely serving as co-consecrators, in the chapel of St. Patrick's College. He later succeeded Thomas Mulvany as Bishop of Meath on 16 June 1943.
D'Alton was named Archbishop of Armagh and thus Primate of All Ireland on 13 June 1946, and was created Cardinal Priest of S. Agata dei Goti by Pope Pius XII in the consistory of 12 January 1953. A cardinal elector in the 1958 papal conclave, he was a member of the Central Preparatory Commission of the Second Vatican Council but lived long enough to only attend the Council's first session in 1962.
Cardinal D'Alton was seen to be more ecumenical in outlook than other members of the Irish hierarchy. He tried to broker talks between the Irish Free State and the United Kingdom to ease the tensions between both countries, even going so far as to address the situation regarding the Irish ports, but to no avail. He was also a historian, and authored such works as Horace and His Age: A Study in Historical Background (1917), Roman Literary Theory and Criticism: A Study in Tendencies (1931), and Selections from St. John Chrysostom (1940).
|Catholic Church titles|
|Bishop of Meath
John Anthony Kyne
|Archbishop of Armagh
Primate of All Ireland