In the first of a two part programme, ‘Where the road takes me’ visits Mallow and Doneraile this week, to look at the life of a remarkable author and priest. Patrick Augustine Sheehan was born in Mallow in 1852 and was taken into care after both his parents and most of his siblings died from consumption.
Few would have foreseen this shy, timid and fair haired young boy later becoming a champion of his people and a world renowned author. In fact by the end of the nineteenth century no other writer in Ireland enjoyed such a worldwide reputation as he did.
Initially seen as aloof from the people that he served, Canon Sheehan soon won the hearts of the people of Doneraile, and by 1903 he had helped all tenants to become owners of their land, in unusually agreeable terms to both landlord and tenant.
In 2013, on the centenary of Sheehan’s death, Monsignor James o’Brien parish priest of Ballyhea published a collection of his letters over a thirty year period. These letters have now