Michael Browne (bishop)

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For the cardinal, see Michael Browne (cardinal).
Styles of
Michael Browne
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style My Lord
Religious style Bishop
Posthumous style not applicable

Michael Browne (December 20, 1895 – February 24, 1980) was an Irish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh from 1937 to 1976.

Born in Westport, Browne was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1920, for the Archdiocese of Tuam. He later served as professor of moral theology at St. Patrick's College in Maynooth.

On August 6, 1937, Browne was appointed Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh by Pope Pius XI, receiving his episcopal consecration from Archbishop Thomas P. Gilmartin on the following August 10. He supported Prime Minister Éamon de Valera's defense of arrests and police searches for cached IRA arms, declaring, "Any Irishman who assists any foreign power to attack the legitimate authority of his own land is guilty of the most terrible crime against God's law, and there can be no excuse for that crime - not even the pretext of solving partition or of securing unity". (see S-Plan).[1]

In 1939, he was selected by Éamon de Valera to chair the Commission on Vocational Organisation.[2]

In 1957, in response to a growing tension between Catholics and Protestants at Fethard-on-Sea, including the Fethard-on-Sea boycott, Browne said, "Non-Catholics do not protest against the crime of conspiring to steal the children of a Catholic father, but they try to make political capital when a Catholic people make a peaceful and moderate protest".[3]

Browne attended the Second Vatican Council from 1962 to 1965, and retired his episcopal post in 1976, after thirty-nine years of service. He died four years later, at the age of 84.


Michael Browne is parodied in Breandán Ó hÉithir`s novel Lig Sinn i gCathu.


  1. ^ TIME Magazine. Against Everybody? June 10, 1940
  2. ^ Catholic Truth Society of Ireland. Bulwark of Freedom. 1943
  3. ^ TIME Magazine. Fethardism August 19, 1957

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas O'Doherty
Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh
Succeeded by
Eamon Casey