Archbishop Patrick John Ryan was “born one day when my mother was not at home”, his own jocular way of saying that he was born in Thurles town while his mother was visiting her parents. His grandparents owned a shop at 25 Main Street, now Liberty Square. His date of birth was 20 February 1831. Patrick’s home was in Cloneyharp about seven miles from Thurles between Holycross and Clonoulty villages, and his father was a tenant farmer .
Archbishop Patrick John Ryan was a Roman Catholic priest, bishop and archbishop in America in very difficult and challenging times. He experienced the mass influx of European immigrants, anti-foreigner and anti-Catholic prejudice, the American Civil War and efforts to serve the needs of the African – Americans and Native-Americans.
Ireland prepared Archbishop Patrick John Ryan for the life he chose to lead. He encountered religious discrimination, the penal law mentality and he witnessed the Great Famine. Influenced by the accomplishments of Daniel O’Connell, he began to develop his skills as an orator for which he was to gain a world-wide reputation.
The Author Patrick Ryan was born in Thurles, County Tipperary and lives in Dublin. He retired in 1999 following a very successful career in banking.
His grandfather, Hugh Ryan, was a cousin and contemporary of Archbishop Ryan. When he researched the life of the archbishop while compiling his family tree, he felt compelled to ensure that his story would be told and his achievements acclaimed through this biography.