Author and Biographer.

Cambridge Dict. of Int. Biography | Who's Who in the World | Kerry Person of the Year Nomination

Who's Who in Catholic Life: 2011

GAUGHAN, Very Rev. Canon John Anthony;
Pastor Emeritus, Guardian Angels, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
Born: 19.08.1932; Parents: Anthony Gaughan and Catherine (née Broderick). Education: University College Dublin; St Patrick's College, Maynooth. BA, BD, H.Dip in Ed; MA, PhD, D.Litt. Publications: The concept of Being: A study in Metaphysics, 1969; Doneraile, 1970; The Synan Family, 1972; Listowel and its Vicinity, 1973; Memoirs of Constable Jeremiah Mee, R.I.C, 1975; Austin Stack: Portrait of a Separatist, 1977; The Knights of Glin, 1978; St Michael's College, Listowel, 1879-1979 (joint ed 1979); Thomas Johnson (1872-1963): first leader of the Labour Party in Dáil Éireann, 1980; Mount Merrion, The Old and the New (ed 1981); A Political Odyssey: Thomas O'Donnell (MP for West Kerry 1900-1918), 1983; Travels on Four Continents, 1984; Alfred O'Rahilly's The Crucified (ed 1985); Alfred O'Rahilly I: Academic, 1986; Alfred O'Rahilly II: Public Figure, 1989; Alfred O'Rahilly III: Controversialist, Part I: Social Reformer, 1992; Alfred O'Rahilly III Controversialist, Part 2, Catholic Apologist, 1993; Olivia Mary Taaffe (1832-1918): Foundress of St Joseph's Young Priests Society, 1995; Memoirs of Senator Joseph Connolly: A Founder of Modern Ireland (ed 1996); Newman's University Church: A History and Guide, 1997; Memoirs of Senator James G Douglas; Concerned Citizen (ed 1998); At The Coal Face: Recollections of a City & Country Priest, 1950-2000, 2000; Recollections of a Writer by Accident, 2002; Listowel and its Vicinity Since 1973, 2004. Scouting in Ireland, 2006. Clubs and Societies: Irish PEN committee member 1976-date; chairman, 1981-2003; National Library of Ireland Society, committee member 1980-date, chairman 2000-date, Writers Week, Listowel, founding member, 1971, president, 1983-90, vice president, 1991-date; Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society, committee member, 1976-89, member, 1968-date. Recreations: Walking, travel, reading, writing, attending Gaelic football and hurling matches. Career: Author of books as stated, plus articles and book reviews to various periodicals and newspapers. Church appointments: Chaplain and Vocational School Teacher, Presentation College, Bray, 1957-60; Reader, Most Precious Blood, Cabra West, 1960-62; Curate: Most Sacred Heart: Aughrim-Greenane, 1962-64; Chaplain and University Tutor (UCD), St Mary's Convent, Donnybrook 1964-65; Curate St Joseph's, Eastwall, 1965-67, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, 1967-70, St Patrick's, Monkstown, 1970-77, St Thérèse, Mount Merrion, 1977-83, University Church, St Stephen's Green, 1983-88; Parish Priest, Guardian Angels, Blackrock, 1988-2009. Address: 56 Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland

Cambridge Dictionary of International Biography, 32nd Edition, 2005/06

Gaughan, John Anthony, b. August 19th, 1932, Listowel, Co. Kerry. Ireland. Catholic Priest, Education B.A, University College Dublin, 1953, BD, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland, 1956, MA, University College Dublin, 1965, PhD, 1992,

DLitt, 1996. Appointments: Chaplain and Vocational School Teacher, Presentation College, Bray, 1957-60; Reader, Most Precious Blood, Cabra West, 1960-62; Curate, Most Sacred Heart, Aughrim-Greenane, 1962-1964; Chaplain and University Tutor, University College Dublin, St. Mary's Convent, Donnybrook, 1964-65; Curate, St. Joseph's, East Wall, 1965-67, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh, 1967-70, St. Patrick's, Monkstown, 1970-77, St. Thérèse, Mount Merrion, 1977-83, University Church, St. Stephen's Green, 1983-88, Parish Priest, Guardian Angels, Blackrock, 1988-. Publications: Contributor of over 95 articles to professional journals: Author of over 20 books including most recently Olivia Mary Taaffe, 1832-1918: Foundress of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society, 1995; Memoirs of Senator Joseph Connolly. A Founder of Modern Ireland, 1996, Newman's University Church: A History and Guide, 1997, Memoirs of Senator James C. Douglas (1887-1954): Concerned Citizen (editor), 1998, At the Coalface: Recollections of a City and Country Priest, 1950-2000 (2000), Listowel and its Vicinity Since 1973 (2004); Articles and book reviews to various periodicals and newspapers. Memberships: National Library of Ireland Society. Chairman, 2000-; Kerry Archaeological and History Society, Committee Member, 1976-89; Writers Week, Founding Member, 1971, President, 1983-90, Vice-President, 1991-; Irish PEN, Committee Member, 1976-. Chairman, 1981-.

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Who's Who in the World. Marquis 20th Edition, 2003


Gaughan, John Anthony, priest, b. Listowel, Ireland, August 19th, 1932, s. Anthony Gaughan and Catherine Broderick, BA, University College Dublin, 1953, BD, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, Ireland, 1956, MA, University College Dublin, 1965, PhD, 1992, DLitt, 1996. Contributor of over 95 articles to professional journals, author, numerous books. Member; National Library Ireland Society ( chairman 2000 -), Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society ( committee 1976 - 89), Writer's Week (founding member 1971, president 1983 -90, vice president 1991 -), Irish P.E.N, association for Irish writers ( chairman 1981 - ), Roman Catholic. Avocations: walking. travel, writing, attending Gaelic football and hurling matches, reading. Home: 56 Newtownpark Ave, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

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Kerry Person of the Year Nomination
Very Rev. John Anthony Gaughan

Nominated by Eamonn Ó Murchú


When one accesses the website of the Kerry Association in Dublin, the first sentence that greets one is "Celebration is indigenous to Kerry and its people. The Association aims to celebrate its diversity, individuality, creativity and imagination that are Kerry." One of the most important ways that this aim is realized on an annual basis is by the award of its premium honour "Kerry Person of the Year" to a worthy recipient. It is of course a tremendous honour - the greatest honour that can be bestowed on a Kerry person by its own, an honour that is not granted lightly, and always given to a person of considerable acumen who, through his/her unique talents and individuality, has brought fame, renown, honour and distinction to his/her native county.


Because "Kerry Person of the Year" is such a prestigious honour, it is always with care, foresight and consideration that one nominates a person for this great distinction. And yet this year I have little hesitation in commending my nominee for this honour - Rev. J. Anthony Gaughan.


It is easy and yet difficult to describe this great man and his outstanding contribution to his native Kerry. It is easy because he is one of the most popular, well-known, renowned of Kerry people, whose accessibility, support for Kerry, ranging from his attendance at our Annual General Meeting each year, his annual, reassuring and welcome presence at Writers Week in Listowel , his celebrating Mass for our deceased members in University Church, St Stephens's Green in November, and Mass for our Kerry Team prior to their departure for the All Ireland Final in Croke Park. And yet it is difficult to capture the extensive range of experience, expertise, scholarship and literary prowess that is such an integral part of this man's extraordinary contribution to the life, history and literature of modern Ireland - a man who is a proud and constructive and helpful member of our Kerry Association in Dublin since the 1960s.


Fr. Gaughan is known to all as "Fr. Tony". He is one of our own, a man of extraordinary scholarship who never lost his common touch. He is man of letters who has an ardent respect for the great people who preceded him especially from his native Kerry, and who has left posterity with outstanding, well -researched biographical and research works recording their lives in their native Kerry and their contribution to the county and the nation.


But first and foremost Fr. Tony is a priest. This Kerryman, you will notice is always attired in his clerical collar and black suit. He is proud of his priesthood. He has spent fifty years as a priest working in ten different parishes in the Dublin Diocese. As priest of the Diocese of Dublin he first ministered as Chaplain and Vocational School Teacher in the Presentation College Bray from 1957-60, from 1960-62 in the Parish of the Most Precious Blood in Cabra West and then in the Parish of the Sacred Heart, Aughrim, Co. Wicklow from 1963-64.. He then while Chaplain and University Tutor in University College Dublin, served in St. Mary's Convent, Donnybrook from 1964-65, and subsequently in the St. Joseph's, East Wall (1965-67), Our Lady of Good Counsel, Drimnagh (1967-70), St. Patrick's, Monkstown (1970-77), and St. Thérèse, Mount Merrion (1977-83), University Church, St. Stephen's Green (1983-88), and he is now Parish Priest in the Parish of Guardian Angels, Blackrock, since 1988.


In his autobiographical work, "At the Coalface - Recollections of a City and Country Priest 1950-2000", Fr. Tony recounts vividly, in detail, with humour and poignancy, his extraordinary ministry as priest for half a century. His sensitivity to individual circumstances, his pastoral concern for his parishioners, his loyalty to the church he serves at a time of extraordinary challenge and change, and his ability to be constructively challenging and enabling are, in my opinion, among the most revealing aspects of this wonderful book. His happiness with his vocation transcends all his reminiscences in the book, which conclude with the words, " For my part, I have always found the priesthood very challenging but also very rewarding beyond all my expectations." I can think of no more fitting way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Ordination of one of the most outstanding priests from Kerry, than to honour him with "Kerry Person of the Year".


Fr, Tony received his early education in Listowel, Co. Kerry, in the local National School, where he was taught by Bryan MacMahon and Frank Sheehy, and in St. Michael's College, Listowel, where he learned Latin and Greek. He continued his studies in Dublin, where from an early age he was an outstanding man of great scholarship, receiving his BA in University College Dublin in 1953, his BD from the Pontifical University in Maynooth in 1956, his MA in University College Dublin in 1965, and his Doctorate in Philosophy in 1992, and his Doctorate in Literature in 1996. His very first publication was " The Concept of Being: A Study in Metaphysics": in 1969. And yet among Fr. Tony's most endearing qualities is that he never lost his common touch, and continues to have the unique ability to connect with people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and dispositions.


Fr. Tony can be justly described as an outstanding man of letters. Accomplished historian, eminent biographer, in the space of less than forty years he has published 25 books, all of which are renowned for their scholarship, and attention to detail, and many of which exceed four hundred and fifty pages of assiduous research. I know of no other contemporary Irish author who has written so much and in such detail and about the history, personalities and politics of his native Kerry.


Kerry historian, Ryle Dwyer, when writing about Fr. Tony stated " Fr. Gaughan is one of this country's most prolific historians. Most of his books have had Kerry connections". Kerry people at home and abroad owe Fr. Tony a considerable debt of gratitude for recording and making available to successive generations the real history of their native Kerry. These works have always ensured Fr. Tony's reputation as historian par excellance. Fr. Tony hails from Listowel , and those who grew up in that storied town owe him much for writing what is now regarded as the definitive work on Listowel - "Listowel and its Vicinity" (1973), which he updated in one of his most recent publications, "Listowel and its Vicinity since 1973" (2004). He also co-edited with Fr. Kieran O'Shea "St. Michael's College, Listowel, 1879-1979 (1979), a collection of articles to mark the centenary of the college. His latest book is " Scouting in Ireland" (2006), the dedication of which reads in "grateful appreciation for the generosity of spirit and idealism of scout leaders, not least Michael Kennelly". Michael Kennelly was Fr. Tony's scout leader when he himself was a young scout in Listowel. Another book with Listowel assocations is one he published in 1975, "Memoirs of Constable Jeremiah Mee, R.I.C


Continuing in the historical, political vein he published "Austin Stack, Portrait of a Seperatist" (1977), "Thomas Johnson, 1872-1963: First Leader of the Labour Party in Dail Eireann" (1980), " A political odyssey: Thomas O'Donnell, M.P. for West Kerry, 1900-1918" (1983), no less than five volumes of work on Alfred O'Rahilly between 1983 and 1993. In 1996 he edited "Memoirs of Senator Joseph Connolly. A Founder of Modern Ireland" and in 1998 he edited "Memoirs of Senator James C. Douglas (1887-1954): Concerned Citizen"


Other publications include "The Knights of Glin: A Geraldine family" (1978), "Travels on Four Continents" (1984), "Doneraile" (1970), "The Synan Family" (1972) and "Olivia Mary Taaffe, 1832-1918: Foundress of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society" (1995) and "Recollections of a Writer by Accident" (2002).


Wherever Fr.Tony was 'stationed' as priest, he always had a great sense of place, local pride, and an appreciation of the past. This is reflected in his publications such as "Mount Merrion: The Old and the New" (1981 ed) and "Newman's University Church: A History and Guide" (1997).


Throughout his lifetime Fr. Tony has always been willing to promote the cultural and literary richness of his native place, county and country, and he is highly regarded throughout the land for his erudite, considered, informed and constructive contributions. Fr. Tony was co-founder of the Canon Sheehan Literary Society in 1970, and was a member of its executive committee from 1970-76. He has had a close involvement with the Festival of North Cork Writers from 1972-74.


He has served with distinction as committee member of Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society from 1976-1989, having been a member since 1968. He was, of course, a co-founder member of Writer's Week, Listowel with Tim Danaher, John B. Keane, Bryan MacMahon, Luai Ó Morchú, Nora Relihan and Seamus Wilmot in 1971. He was President of Writer's Week from 1983-1990 and is Vice-President since 1991, ensuring that Writer's Week, Listowel continues to be the premier international writers' festival. He is commitee member of Irish Pen since 1976, served as Chairman from 1981 to 2005, and has been Chairman of the National Library of Ireland Society since 2000.


When Fr. Tony does have "free time", he enjoys, walking, travelling, reading and of course, attending Gaelic football and hurling matches - and regaling his company afterwards about his own unique insights into the game... he of course, having donned the green and gold jersey himself in his young days. In this regard it is worth noting that he was a member of Listowel Emmets GAA Football Club from 1948-1956, and played in intermediate and senior level in the North Kerry League and Championship. He was a member of Feale Rangers Divisional Team and played for them in the 1953-54 Kerry County Championship. He was a member of the Kerry Minor Football Team and was a substitute on the All-Ireland winning team in 1950, and later was a member of the Junior All-Ireland winning team in 1954. It is worthy of note that from 1997 onwards Fr. Tony has celebrated Mass with the Kerry Senior and Minor teams - and later with the Senior Hurling team - in their hotel, prior to their going to Croke Park.


When I think of Fr. Tony, I think of the Kerry Priest who is so proud of his native place and native county; who translated that pride through hard work, industry and research into the most prestigous of publications which leave a rich legacy of historical research relating to Kerry and to the nation as a whole; who is ever generous of his time and talents to all things Kerry; who celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his ordination as priest this year, and who also this year is a worthy successor to the long and illustrious list of Kerry people who have already been honoured with the prestigous accolade "Kerry Person of the Year".


Eamonn Ó Murchú


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