James O'Laverty (1828 - 1906):
Cleric, Roman Catholic and historian
James O'Laverty was born in Lecale, County Down, and was educated at St Malachy's College, Belfast, and Maynooth, where he was ordained in 1851. He was curate in Ahoghill and Portglenone, and in 1857 he became dean of the diocesan seminary in Belfast and chaplain to the Belfast Workhouse. He was parish priest of Holywood, County Down, for over thirty years until the time of his death. He established a National School in 1869 and erected a church dedicated to to St Colmcille. He wrote many articles for the Ulster Journal of Archaeology. From 1878 until 1887 he produced the definitive Historical Account of Down and Connor (4 vols), which he acknowledged as owing a debt to the work of Bishop William Reeves. A fifth volume dealt with the bishops of the diocese. In 1904 he became Monsignor. He is buried in the church-yard in Holywood.