Laurence Patrick Murray (1883 - 1941):
Cleric, Roman Catholic, historian and writer
Laurence Murray was born in Carlingford. He was educated locally and at St Patrick's College, Armagh, before going to Maynooth in 1901. He won many prizes for academic achievement, and wrote articles for the Louth Archaeological Journal and Irisleabhar Maighe Nuadhat. In 1908 he was asked to leave the college. He went as a student to St Paul in the United States, was ordained a priest there in 1910, and became mathematics teacher in the College of St Thomas. After the foundation of the Omeath Irish College in 1912, he spent every summer teaching in the Omeath Gaeltacht, and began collecting songs, stories and prayers. In 1917 he lost his post at St Paul for refusing to take the oath of allegiance, and he returned to Ireland as stoker on a ship because the British Embassy refused him a visa. In 1918 he was appointed curate in the parish of Clonfeacle, where he taught Irish and Irish dancing. In 1921 he became Religious Inspector for schools, and he remained in that position for the next sixteen years. In 1924 he established the Gaelic monthly, An tUltach. In 1925 he built St Brigid's College, Ranafast, County Donegal, and in 1926 set up a Gaelic League Provisional Council for the nine counties of Ulster and County Louth. He was an active G.A.A. supporter and team coach. He wrote prolifically all his life, and his publications include a collectiojn of songs, Ceolta Omeith (1920) and Pota Cnuasaigh (1924).