The Oxford Companion to Irish History

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Nagle, Nano ( 1718-84), founder of the Presentation *nuns. Nagle was the daughter of a Catholic landowning family in Ballygriffin, Co. Cork. She operated six poor-schools in Cork city from the 1750s, and in 1771 invited the French Ursulines to take over one of these. Unsatisfied with their performance, she set up her own congregation, the Sisters of the Charitable Instruction of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in 1776; the first of the modern, socially active congregations in Ireland, it was intended as a sisterhood without enclosure, and with a multidimensional function of work among the poor. The formal papal recognition of the congregation as the Presentation nuns in 1802, some years after Nagle's death, imposed strict enclosure upon the sisterhood, limiting them to the work of teaching. The congregation nevertheless holds 1776 rather than 1802 as its foundation date.


Nangle, Edward, see SECOND REFORMATION.


Nary, Cornelius ( 1658-1738), Catholic priest and controversialist. The son of a Co. Kildare farmer, he was educated at the Irish College, Paris, and became parish priest of St Michan's, Dublin, around 1699. His best-known work, The Case of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, arguing that proposed new *penal laws were unnecessary and a breach of the treaty of * Limerick, though commonly said to have been published anonymously in 1723, first appears in a collection printed in 1742. Nary engaged in public debate with several Protestant clergymen, including Edward Synge, archbishop of Tuam. His translation of the New Testament ( 1718) was condemned in Rome as unsound.

Nation, a weekly newspaper founded in October 1842 to promote the campaign for *repeal and to disseminate the ideas of cultural nationalism. Owned and edited by Charles Gavan *Duffy in collaboration with Thomas *Davis and John Blake *Dillon , the Nation was the mouthpiece of *Young Ireland. With an initial print-run of 12,000 copies, the paper was widely distributed through repeal reading rooms, and claimed a readership of 250,000. The Nation was suppressed in 1848 and revived by Duffy in 1849. It continued until 1897, but never regained the impact of its early years.


national anthems, like *flags, have a contentious history. 'God Save the King', accepted from the early 19th century as the British national anthem, became in Ireland, and in * Northern Ireland has remained, an important expression of *unionist allegiance. Up to 1914, its most popular nationalist rival was T. D. Sullivan 'God Save Ireland' ( 1867), commemorating the *Manchester martyrs, which became the unofficial anthem of the *Irish parliamentary party. From 1912, however, the *Irish Volunteers chose as their marching song 'The Soldier's Song' (first published 1912), by Peadar Kearney ( 1883- 1942) and Patrick Heeney (d. 1911). In 1926 this was adopted, despite apparent reservations concerning its suitability, as the national anthem of the *Irish Free State. De *Valera's appropriation for a political party of the opening words of the 1923 Irish version ('Sinne Fianna Fail'--'we are the soldiers of destiny') was apparently unintentional, but attempts to replace 'Fianna' with 'laochra' (heroes) never gained general acceptance. The resurgence of political violence in Northern Ireland from 1969 has sharpened reservations concerning the anthem's romantic militarism.

National Archives, see PUBLIC RECORDS.

National Association, formally instituted in Dublin in December 1864 to facilitate co-operation between Irish Catholics and English radicals, specifically with a view to promoting *disestablishment. The initiative had come from William J. O'Neill Daunt ( 1807-94), a former aide of * O'Connell, who had established contact with John Bright and the English Liberation Society and then drawn in Archbishop Patrick Leahy of Cashel, John Blake *Dillon, and a group of Dublin


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