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Notable Irish Members (Historic): Arthur, Count Moore

Count Arthur Moore, Grand Officer of the Holy Sepulchre, admitted 28th. December 1903. b. at Liverpool, 1849; d. at Mooresfort, Tipperary, Ireland, 1904. Educated at Ushaw, he afterwards travelled in Spain, and in 1874 was elected M.P. for the Borough of Clonmel. 

 

In Parliament he was a follower of Mr. Butt, and strongly advocated land reform, better treatment of children in workhouses, university education for Irish Catholics, and Home Rule; and he specially interested himself in providing Catholic chaplains for the Royal Navy.

 

In 1877 he married a daughter of an English baronet, Sir Charles Clifford, and the same year received the title of Count from the pope. During Gladstone Parliament of 1880-85 Count Moore was usually on the side of Parnell. He favoured land purchase as the best settlement of the Irish question; he advocated the providing of suitable cottages for Irish labourers, and better treatment of Irish emigrants on board ship; he always voted for Home Rule, and vehemently denounced coercion.

But he was not content to lead a life of ease and inactivity, believing that "a Catholic layman should be up and doing and not merely telling his beads in a corner". Blessed with ample wealth he was a generous contributor to schools, churches, convents, and hospitals; a militant but not an aggressive Catholic he was always ready to do battle for Catholic truth, and in speeches, lectures, and newspaper articles often did splendid service for the advancement of Catholic interests. He spared no effort to secure that Catholic sailors should not be left without religious instruction during life, or without a priest at the hour of death; and so valuable was his work in this that the Irish Bishops, at their meeting at Maynooth in 1903, thanked him by special resolution.

He supported the Catholic Truth Society and attended meetings; he desired to have a branch of the Beneditine Order in Ireland, and would have helped to endow it. He established and generously endowed Cistercian Abbey at Roscrea. On the 4 February 1902, Count Moore was at Mount Saint Joseph, and together with Abbot Camillus and Wm. H. Beardwood, chose the site for the projected College. The Count paid £2,600 towards the building of the College, which was opened for the first fifty students in September 1905. Its story fills a 500 page volume "Cead Bliain Faoi Rath", published for the Centenary, by which time enrolment reached 300 borders.

Always ready to help others he did not forget his own personal sanctity. He attended Mass every day, spent hours the tabernacle in his own private oratory, fasted rigorously, made frequent retreats; and he went, year after year, to Lourdes and to the Holy Land, not a sight-seeing traveller but as a pilgrim and a penitent. At home he was the kindest and the most indulgent of landlords, and no beggar went unrelieved from his door. When he died, his body, clothed in the Franciscan habit, was interred near the high altar in the church of the Cistercians at Roscrea.