Michael Griffin (Irish priest)

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Father Michael Griffin (1890 - November 1920) was an Irish Catholic priest.

Griffin was born in the village of Gurteen, East Galway. He was ordained at St Patrick's College, Maynooth in 1917. A priest of the Diocese of Clonfert, he served in the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora.

In June 1918, he was transferred from the parish of Ennistymon, County Clare, to the parish of Rahoon in Galway City.

On the night of 14 November 1920, during the Irish War for Independence, he was killed, most likely by the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary.[1] On November 20 his body was found in a bog near Barna. He had been shot through the head. On November 23, after solemn requiem mass, the start of the funeral journey took place through the streets of Galway. It was one of the largest ever seen with three bishops, 150 priests and in excess of 12,000 mourners participating, as the city he loved paid its last farewell to the dead priest.

He was buried in the grounds of Loughrea Cathedral.[2]

When a group of enthusiasts gathered together in Galway in the spring of 1948 to form a football club, they unanimously agreed to name it Father Griffins.

There is a road in Galway City called Father Griffin Road.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Leeson, D. M. (2011). The Black and Tans: British Police and Auxiliaries in the Irish War of Independence, 1920-1921. Oxford University Press. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-19-959899-1. 
  2. ^ "Father Griffin's Remains Taken to Loughrea — Impressive Church Scenes — All Classes Horrified at the Awful Crime", Galway Observer, 27 November 1920.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lady Gregory's Journal, v. 1. Books 1-29: 10 October 1916 – 24 February 1925; 1978. ISBN 0-900675-92-6
  • Athenry: A Local History (1850–1983), Aggie Qualter, 1984.
  • Athenry: A Brief History and Guide, Ann Healy, 1989.
  • The Lamberts of Athenry, ed. Finnbarr O'Regan, Galway, 1999.
  • The Fields of Athenry, James Charles Roy, 2001.