Fr Jim Byrne was born at the RIC Barracks in the Square, Millstreet, Co. Cork on the 2nd of February, 1915. The son of Mary (Riordan) and William Byrne, he commenced his primary education from 1920 to 1923 at the Presentation Convent, Millstreet. He then re-located to Nottingham and pursued his primary education there form 1923 to 1925. The remainder of this stage of his education was at the Patrician Brothers Tullow, from 1925 to 1929. It was there he did his secondary education from 1929 to 1934. In 1934, he entered Kiltegan and was ordained in December, 1941. Due to war time travel restrictions, it was 1943 when he reached Nigeria.
He ministered in Calabar during the years 1943 to 1945. From that year until 1947, he served as Chaplain to the Nigerian armed forces. Having completed this stint, he returned to Calabar where he was to minister until 1961. In that year ill-health forced him to return to Ireland.
From 1964 to 1970, he served in the Diocese of Clifton in England and then in Westminster from 1970 to 1979, when he returned to Kiltegan. He remained there until his sudden death on the 10th of June, 1981.
from the St.Patrick’s Missionary Society website
Fr Jim (pictured on the left) at Urua Akpan in Nigeria (photo is from Holy Child West Aftica Missions – Return to Africa)
See the Society Cemetery in Kiltegan where Fr Jim was laid to rest (+ comment from his niece Mary O’Connor) [Find a Grave]
His father William Byrne, an RIC constable was stationed in Kilmurray until he married Mary Riordan from Crookstown. He was moved away from Kilmurray after marrying (normal protocol), and landed to Millstreet after marrying from about 1914 until the breakup of the RIC in 1922. He later become a sergeant in Millstreet in 1920. [see the Millstreet RIC Nominal Returns]
1882 October: birth of William Byrne at Callan, Co. Kilkenny. He died on 20th April 1959 (to confirm)
1914 April 28th: Marriage of William Byrne and Mary Riordan by Rev Timothy Murphy CC at Cloughduv Church. He an R.I.C of Kilmurray, son of James Byrne a farmer, she a farmer’s daughter from Crookstown, daughter of Dan Reardon a farmer, in the presence of Michael Linehan and Margaret Murphy (i+1)
1915 February 2nd: Birth of James Byrne (Jim) at the Barrack, Millstreet, to Mary Byrne (née Riordan) and William Byrne, Constable RIC
1916 November 15th: Birth of Francis Byrne (Frank) at the Barrack, Millstreet, to Mary Byrne (née Riordan) and William Byrne, Constable RIC. (Death 1961?)
1919 July 8th: Birth of Philomena Bridget Byrne at the Barracks Millstreet, to Mary Byrne (Riordan) and William Byrne, a Constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary
1921 March: Birth of William Michael Byrne (Billy)in Millstreet, to Mary Byrne (Riordan) and William Byrne, a Constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary. Died 28 FEB 2001 in London (to confirm)
1959 April 20th: Death of William Byrne at 77 Clontarf Road Dublin, married, 77 yrs old, Retired RIC Sergeant, Toxaemia carcanoma of stomach, Phyllis Morahan, daughter present at death
TODO: He’s not listed in the Kilmurray Barrack in the 1911 census, so where was he?
TODO: where did the family come from?
the article states that he was a pupil in the Presentation Convent until 1923, but the RIC left here around February 1922. Did the family stay on here for some time?