Parish Of Birth
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland
Details Of Ordination
St. Patrick’s College Chapel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Enniskeane PP : 7/6/1918 – 31/1/1946
Cathedral CC : 14/1/1917 – 7/6/1918
Bantry CC : 22/2/1913 – 14/1/1917
Kilmurry CC : 26/3/1899 – 22/2/1913
Kilmichael CC : 17/7/1898 – 26/3/1899
Kilbrittain CC : 27/2/1896 – 17/7/1898
Chaplain, Military Prison/Cork : 15/5/1892 – 1894
Chaplain, Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul/North Infirmary : 15/5/1892 – 27/2/1896
Chaplain, Presentation Convent, Crosshaven : 7/6/1891 – 15/5/1892
Chaplain, Convent of Mercy, Schull : 30/6/1890 – 7/6/1891
Appointed Canon of the Cathedral Chapter on the 25/09/1934
He was a nephew of Very Rev. Patrick Canon O’Connell, P.P., Ovens (1893-1934), and a brother of Fr. John O’Connell, Chaplain, Poor Clare Convent, Cork (1917-1958), and a cousin of Very Rev. John Vincent Hurley, P.P., Goleen (1939-1946) .
On the night before the Kilmichael Ambush, Fr. O’Connell rode out on horseback to Ahilina, Enniskeane to hear the confessions of the Volunteers (Third West Cork Brigade IRA, under Comdt. Tom Barry) who were to risk their lives in confronting the heavily armed British Auxiliaries (Black and Tans) next day (Sunday, 28/11/1920)).
At this time, Bishop Cohalan, Bishop of Cork was about to excommunicate all Volunteers and deny them the Sacraments, en masse. Yet, Fr. O’Connell not only risked his life to give them spiritual succour before the ambush but, afterwards, when it was much more dangerous, he met them in the dark of night (Thursday, 2/12/1920) at St. Joseph’s Church Grounds, Castletown-Kenneigh to give a Christian burial to their dead.
Fr. O’Connell was an unlikely candidate for the role of rebel sympathiser. Austere and commanding, resentful of opposition or contradiction. He was a deeply religious man and it was, perhaps, this commitment that took him out in the night to save souls, whatever their political persuasion.
Date Of Death
Place Of Death
Mercy Hospital, Cork
Place Of Burial
Church of the Immaculate Conception Grounds, Enniskeane, Co. Cork
His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Cohalan, Bishop of Cork, presided at the Solemn Requiem Mass. The celebrant was, Very Rev. Denis Canon Murphy, P.P., Enniskeane; deacon was, Fr. Timothy O’Mahony, C.C., Ahiohill; subdeacon was, Fr. William O’Regan, Chaplain, Mount St. Joseph’s, and the master of ceremonies was, Fr. James Horgan, C.C., Bantry.