Fr William Hayden was born at Carrickbeg House in 1839 and died in Dublin in 1919, Carrick-on-Suir writer and poet Michael Coady recounts.
The Jesuit is a largely forgotten founder member of the Gaelic League in 1893, which was headed by Douglas Hyde and became a mass movement that greatly influenced Irish modern history.
Fr Hayden came from a prominent Carrickbeg family. His father Patrick Hayden (1774-1851) was a merchant, who built Carrickbeg House in 1822, and was active in the restoration of St Molleran’s Church. His father was also a significant Catholic Emancipation activist and relief organiser during the Great Famine.
The patriot, Pierse McCan, who died in Gloucester Jail in 1919 while TD for South Tipperary in the first Dail, was a grand-nephew of Fr Hayden.