Bishop Farrell’s transfer to Dublin is not first! Twice before, a bishop of Ossory was transferred to Dublin.
Richard de Northalis (1387-1395)
Richard was the son of a wealthy merchant, who had held the office of Lord Mayor of London. He was a Carmelite who was promoted to the see of Ossory when Alexander De Balscott was transferred to the Diocese of Meath. The exact year of his appointment is difficult to state but it seems likely that he was appointed towards the close of 1386. He was absent from Ossory for the first six years being employed by the King as his Ambassador at the Papal and other courts. He was also for a time Chancellor of Ireland. He was promoted to the Archdiocese of Dublin in 1395 and died on the 20th July 1397.
John Thomas Troy ((1776-1786)
John Thomas Troy, a native of Blanchardstown, entered the Dominican Order in St Clemente in Rome in 1756. After a distinguished time as a student, within a short time he was appointed Prior of St Clemente. On the 27th November he was appointed to the See of Ossory, vacant upon the death of Thomas Burke was bishop from 1759 to 1776. While a branch of the Troy family had settled in Kilkenny some centuries earlier there is nothing to indicate that to link Dr Troy with the natives – interestingly, the Troy family gave their name to Troy’s Gate (Hibernice Gathantro).
Troy left Rome for Ireland on the 21st of March 1777. He was consecrated (ordained) bishop in Louvain, on route home, on the 8th June – strange that the consecration did not take place in Rome! He celebrated his first Mass as Bishop of Ossory in St Canice’s Church on the 17th August. The new bishop lived in Dean Street – and kept a horse there during his Dublin days!.
The slight relaxation of the penal laws around this time gave Troy the opportunity to establish a Catholic College in the city. Troy entrusted the task to Rev John Dunne and Rev James Lanigan and in 1782 St Kieran’s College was opened.
Dr Troy was appointed to the Archdiocese of Dublin on the 27th November 1786 and was archbishop until 1823. Dunne succeeded him in Ossory and Lanigan became bishop in 1789. Lanigan was a native of High Street near the Tholsel; Dunne was the son of James Dunne and Elizabeth Kavanagh of Lisdowney.