He was ordained on 25 June 1882 for the Diocese of Galway. He was a member of staff at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, from the date of his ordination; he served as Vice-President from 1894. He was named Bishop of Clonfert on 16 June 1903, replacing Dr. Healy. He became Bishop of Galway on 29 April 1909.
His plans to build a new cathedral for the town were interrupted by World War I. He was a fluent Irish speaker and a supporter of the GAA. He was firstly buried in St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral of Galway, but later re-interred in the crypt of the new Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway.
- Lickmolassy by the Shannon, p. 200, John Joe Conwell, 1998.