Franciscans in Cork

The launch of The Account Books of the Franciscan House, Broad Lane, Cork, 1764-192, took place at University College Cork on 2 May. Franciscan Joseph MacMahon spoke at the event.

The major work was edited by Liam Kelly and Clare Murphy, and produced by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.

The records of the Catholic Church in Ireland have a greater significance for the study of the past than is true of many other western European countries. this is partly because of the destruction of Irish public records in the early twentieth century but also because the Roman Catholic church and it various institutions possessed a degree of continuity, formal organisation and geographical coverage that is unmatched by the any other private body.

The Franciscan Order in Ireland kept especially goods records. While the potential of these archival treasures has yet to be fully realised, this volume makes available for the first time a substantial slice of the records of the famous Franciscan convent at Broad Lane in the city of Cork. These unique sources consist of the hand-written account books that recorded the day-to-day expenditures of the Cork Franciscans, stretching from the year 1764 through to 1921.

The books offer a revealing window on economic, social and cultural change in the city, while also throwing light on the progress of the Cork Franciscans, and the Catholic church more generally, in this formative period of modern Irish history.

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