Belfast Telegraph

Blue plaque honour for Tyrone-born New York cleric John Hughes

By Staff Reporter

A Tyrone-born Catholic cleric who became the first Archbishop of New York has been honoured with a blue plaque.

John Joseph Hughes emigrated from rural Ireland to America in the early 19th century and become one of the most influential Americans of his time.

He lectured to Congress, was thanked by Abraham Lincoln for his support of the Union during the American Civil War, founded Fordham University, and laid the foundation stone at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York.

His remarkable story was celebrated this weekend with the unveiling of a blue plaque at St Macartan's Church in Augher, Co Tyrone, by Archbishop Eamon Martin.

Speaking at the unveiling of the Ulster History Circle plaque, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness said: "John Joseph Hughes was an illustrious son of the Diocese of Clogher and we are very proud of him and what he achieved.

"Although John Joseph Hughes' greatest works and fame were achieved in the United States, he never lost sight of his roots in this locality.

"Here he spent the first 20 years of his life, and he returned to preach in this church just before its dedication in 1846 while he was Bishop of New York, only a few years before it was raised to the status of an Archdiocese, and he to the rank of Archbishop."

Belfast Telegraph


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