Michael Griffin (Irish priest)

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Father Michael Griffin (1892 – 14 November 1920) was an Irish Catholic priest.

Griffin was born in Gurteen, East Galway and 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, the curate was transferred from the parish of Ennistymon, County Clare, to Rahoon, Galway City.

On the night of 14 November 1920, during the Irish War for Independence, Griffin, a known Irish republican sympathiser, was taken from his home at 2 Montpellier Terrace and taken to Lenaboy Castle, where he was questioned. On November 20, his body was found in an unmarked grave in a bog at Cloghscoltia near Barna; he had been shot through the head.[1][2][3] On 23 November, after Griffin's funeral mass at St Joseph's, the funeral cortege took place through the streets of Galway. Three bishops, 150 priests and in excess of 12,000 mourners participated. The priest was buried in the grounds of Loughrea Cathedral.[4]

A group of enthusiasts gathered together in Galway in the spring of 1948 to form a football club and they decided unanimously to name the club "Father Griffins". There is also a road in Galway City called "Father Griffin Road".[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reference to Father Griffin, ouririshheritage.org; accessed 1 October 2014.
  2. ^ Murder of Father Michael Griffin, theauxiliaries.com; accessed 1 October 2014.
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Father Griffin's Remains Taken to Loughrea — Impressive Church Scenes — All Classes Horrified at the Awful Crime", Galway Observer, 27 November 1920.
  5. ^ https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=16+Seamount,+Galway,+County+Galway,+Ireland&t=h&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=201548600520739669116.00000112b98eb2337d96d&dg=feature

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.