Open main menu


MAGINN, EDWARD, D.D. (1802–1849), Irish catholic prelate, son of Patrick Maginn, a farmer, and Mary Slevin, his wife, was born at Fintona, co. Tyrone, on 16 Dec. 1802, and was educated at the Irish College in Paris. He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1825, and appointed to the curacy of Moville, co. Donegal. Some time afterwards he took an active part in a public discussion held at Londonderry between champions of the protestant and Roman churches. In 1829 he was appointed to succeed his uncle as parish priest of the united parishes of Fahan and Deysertegny. At this period he ardently joined in the agitation for the repeal of the union. On 18 Aug. 1845 he was appointed coadjutor to Dr. John MacLaughlin, bishop of Derry, and was nominated to the see of Ortosia, in the archbishopric of Tyre, in partibus infidelium. The election was confirmed by the pope on 8 Sept., and Maginn was consecrated in the cathedral at Waterside on 18 Jan. 1846. An enthusiastic politician, he zealously promoted all the nationalist and clerical movements of his time. He gave evidence before Lord Devon's commission on the occupation of land in Ireland, wrote a series of letters on tenant right, and published ‘A Refutation of Lord Stanley's Calumnies against the Catholic Clergy of Ireland’ (reprinted at Dublin, 1850, 12mo). Lord Stanley (afterwards fourteenth earl of Derby) had stated in 1847 that in Ireland there was a fatal breach between the Roman catholic clergy and the law, and that the confessional was conducted with a degree of secretness, and carried to an extent, dangerous alike to the civil government and the peace of the country. Maginn died on 17 Jan. 1849, and was buried in the catholic cathedral at Londonderry. A highly eulogistic and inflated ‘Life’ of him by Thomas D'Arcy McGee, with selections from his correspondence, was published at New York, 1857, 8vo.

[Life by McGee; Brady's Episcopal Succession, i. 322.]

T. C.