Ireland, John(īr`lənd), 1838–1918, American Roman Catholic prelate, first archbishop of St. Paul, Minn. (1888–1918), b. Co. Kilkenny, Ireland. He emigrated to St. Paul in childhood. He was educated at French seminaries, was ordained (1861), and soon enlisted as a chaplain in the Civil War. He became prominent when he was cathedral pastor (1867–75) at St. Paul, as a strong advocate of total abstinence, opposing the liquor interests, and as an opponent of political corruption. In 1875 he was made coadjutor bishop of St. Paul and in 1884 bishop; in 1888 his see was made archiepiscopal. Bishop Ireland was an energetic spokesman for liberal American Catholicism. He gained many enemies by advocating state support and inspection of Catholic schools and by opposing the use of foreign languages in American Catholic churches, except in extreme need, and in parochial schools under any circumstances. He was in favor of Western settlement by immigrants, who could thereby escape the poverty of the Eastern urban environment. He continually made public statements on political matters, and he was a close personal friend of Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.
See biography by J. H. Moynihan (1953).
Ireland, John,1879–1962, English composer. Inspired by visits to the Channel Islands, he wrote music of a simple, rugged beauty. His many songs include the cycle Songs of a Wayfarer (1903) and Sea Fever (1913), to the poem by John Masefield. In addition to songs, chamber music, and piano pieces, Ireland wrote orchestral music.
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Ireland, John(1838–1919) Catholic prelate; born in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Emigrating to the U.S.A. with his parents (1849) and settling in St. Paul, Minn., he later studied in France and was ordained a priest (1861). He was a Civil War chaplain and cathedral rector before being named coadjutor bishop of St. Paul (1875). In 1884 Ireland became bishop of St. Paul, which was made an archdiocese four years later. Regarded as a liberal and possible target of an 1899 papal encyclical condemning "Americanism," he took stands on many controversial issues, as in his "Faribault plan" for state support of parochial schools.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.