Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Malone, Sylvester

MALONE, SYLVESTER (1822–1906), Irish ecclesiastical historian, born in the parish of Kilmally, co. Clare, in 1822, was son of Jeremiah Malone by his wife Mary Slattery. Having discovered his vocation, he was educated for the priesthood and was ordained in 1854. His first curacy was at Cooraclare in his native county, but after a year and a half he was successively transferred to Kilkee, where he remained fourteen years, and to Newmarket-on-Fergus. In 1875 he became parish priest of Sixmile-bridge, and in 1889 of Clare Castle. Finally, in 1892 he was appointed to Kilrush as vicar-general, and there he remained for the rest of his life. He was raised soon after to the dignities of canon and archdeacon.

Malone, who cherished strong nationalist sympathies, was always devoted to study and was well versed in the Irish language. He made valuable researches into the history of the catholic church in Ireland, and among Irish critics his 'Church History of Ireland from the Invasion of the English in 1160 to the Beginning of the Reformation in 1532' (1867; 2nd edit. 2 vols. Dublin, 1880) takes standard rank.

He was keenly interested in the movement for the preservation of the Irish language, and was a member of the various societies started to achieve that object. To the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language he bequeathed 100l. for the best essays in Irish on 'Irish Prose' and 'Irish Poetry.' Dr. Douglas Hyde and the Rev. P. S. Dinneen, both well known in the Gaelic movement, were the successful candidates. Malone died at Kilrush on 21 May 1906.

Besides the work named, Malone published:

  1. 'Tenant Wrong illustrated in a Nutshell; or a History of Kilkee in Relation to Landlordism during the last Seven Years, in a Letter addressed to the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone,' Dublin, 1867.
  2. 'Chapters towards a Life of St. Patrick,' Dublin, 1892, 12mo.
  3. 'Adrian IV and Ireland,' Dublin, 1899, 16mo.
  4. 'The Life of St. Flannan of Killaloe,' Dublin, 1902.
  5. 'Irish Schools and their Managers,' 1904.

[Freeman's Journal, 22 May 1906; information kindly supplied by the Very Rev. J. F. Hogan, D.D.; Irish Catholic Directories; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

D. J. O'D.