Very Rev. Justin Foley McNamara PP


Parish Of Birth
Macroom, Co. Cork (Diocese of Cloyne)

Details Of Ordination
South Presentation Convent Chapel, Cork City

Kinsale PP : 1828 – 31/12/1845

Ss. Peter & Paul’s CC : 1818 – 1828

Fr Justin Foley McNamara, Parish Priest of Kinsale from 1828 – 1845, died at Gibraltar on his way to visit Rome. He was then 51 years of age. He had been responsible for the building of the present Parish Church of St. John the Baptist, the Convent of Mercy, four schools and had combined with the then Prior, Fr. Lulem, in the building of the Carmelite Friary – no mean achievement in those dark days in Ireland.
There was a long delay before his remains were brought back to Kinsale for burial – about two months.
The remains of Fr. McNamara eventually arrived in Kinsale and he was buried in the vault of the Parish Church. the funeral procession stretched all the way from Cork to Kinsale.

He was a nephew of Bishop John Murphy, Bishop of Cork, 1815 – 1847.

His widowed sister, Mary Anne Burke was the Foundress of St. Joseph’s Convent of Mercy, Kinsale, April 19th. 1844.

In St. John the Baptist Church, Kinsale, there is a monument erected by the people of Kinsale in memory of their Parish Priest. and they spared no expense for, in doing so, they engaged Ireland’s greatest sculptor, John Hogan.
This monument is today regarded as one of Hogan’s greatest works and it deserves more than the casual glance. Notice the folds of the cloth in the soutane, and the delicate work in the lace of the surplice, on the stole, the shoes. Note the position of the hands. Look at the face and follow the direction of his eyes and you will find them looking at the Tabernacle where his Master is hidden in the Sacrament of His Love. Hogan planned and designed all this and, like all great sculptors, he would put a meaning to every detail of his work. If you look again, you will see an angel holding a mitre, with one foot on a book. On the cover of this book you will see where Hogan signed this work – “Hogan fecit”. Why the angel with the mitre? Tradition tells us that Fr. McNamara was on his way to Rome to be made bishop, when he became ill and died at Gibraltar.
While in Rome in the autumn of 1827, Fr. McNamara, became friendly with the sculptor John Hogan. Fr. McNamara, who was interested in the arts, accompanied Hogan to the archaeological excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii.

Date Of Death

Place Of Death

Place Of Burial
St. John the Baptist Church Vaults, Kinsale, Co. Cork

At Gibraltar, on the 31st of December, of inflamation, the Rev. Justin Foley McNamara, P.P., Kinsale. – Cork Constitution, Tuesday, January 13th. 1846.

Associated Links
His uncle, Most Rev. John Murphy, Bishop of Cork