Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Meehan, Charles Patrick

MEEHAN, CHARLES PATRICK (1812–1890), author and translator, was born at 141 Great Britain Street, Dublin, on 12 July 1812. He received his early education at Ballymahon, co. Longford, the native place of his parents. In 1828 he went to the Irish Catholic College, Rome, where he studied till he was ordained priest in 1834. Returning to Dublin in the same year he was appointed to a curacy at Rathdrum, co. Wicklow. After nine months he was transferred to a curacy at the parish church of Saints Michael and John, Dublin. In that position he continued till his death, which took place on 14 March 1890. Verses by Meehan appeared in the Dublin ‘Nation’ newspaper under the pseudonym of ‘Clericus,’ and he wrote many articles in Roman catholic periodicals, some of which were amplified and republished. He was a member of the Royal Irish Academy. Most of Meehan's productions were in connection with Irish and Roman catholic subjects, and intended for popular reading. They principally consisted of translations and historical compilations. His translations included the following: ‘History of the Geraldines, Earls of Desmond,’ from the Latin of O'Daly [see Daly or O'Daly, Daniel or Dominic], 1847; Manzoni's ‘La Monaca di Monza,’ a continuation of the ‘Promessi Sposi,’ 1847; ‘Life of Francis Kirwan, Bishop of Killala,’ from the Latin of Lynch, 1848; ‘Lives of the most Eminent Sculptors and Architects of the Order of Saint Dominic,’ from the Italian of Marchese, 2 vols. 1852. Meehan's chief compilations were as follows:

  1. ‘History of the Confederation of Kilkenny,’ 12mo, 1846.
  2. ‘Rise and Fall of Irish Franciscan Monasteries, and Memoirs of the Irish Hierarchy in the Seventeenth Century,’ 1869.
  3. ‘Fate and Fortunes of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donel, Earl of Tyrconnel,’ 1870.

Of most of these works, all of which appeared at Dublin, cheap editions were published there from time to time, but generally without dates. Meehan edited in 1883 and 1884 Davies's ‘Essays,’ James's Clarence Mangan's essays and poems, ‘Anthologia Germanica,’ and translations of Irish songs by Munster authors. He also re-edited Madden's ‘Literary Remains of the United Irishmen,’ 1887.

[Personal information; Irish Monthly, 1889; Catholic World, September 1890; notes supplied by P. A. Sillard, esq., of Dublin.]

J. T. G.