To mark the 250th anniversary of the execution of Father Nicholas Sheehy, former parish priest of Shanrahan, Ballysheehan, and Templetenny in Co Tipperary, a special Mass will be held at his tomb in Shanrahan on 24 September next. Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, will be the main celebrant at the Mass.
Born in 1728, Father Sheehy was raised in Newcastle, on the borders of Waterford and Tipperary. Father Sheehy trained for the priesthood at the Irish College in Salamanca, Spain. He ministered as curate in Newcastle, before later being appointed as parish priest for Shanrahan, Ballysheehan, and Templetenny.
Father Sheehy was a prominent and vocal opponent of the Penal Laws, which disenfranchised and persecuted Catholics in Ireland during this period. His beliefs led to repeated accusations of conspiracy against the state and high treason, for both of which he was acquitted. Immediately following his acquittal for high treason, Father Sheehy was charged with accessory to murder, for which he was convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. He was hanged opposite Saints Peter and Paul’s Church in Clonmel in 1766.
For more information on the 250th anniversary, please visit www.waterfordlismore.ie.