James Walshe was born at New Ross on 30 June 1803. His parents were Philip
Walshe and Mary Doyle, a first cousin of J.K.L.
Certificates exist in the Diocesan Archives, Carlow to show
that he spent time studying medicine in Dublin prior to 1823. From 1823 to
1826 he was a student at St. Peterís College, Wexford. He spent the
following four years at Carlow College and was ordained in 1830.
He began that year as Professor of Humanity in Carlow
College and subsequently taught Moral Philosophy and Theology. In 1837 he
assumed a pastoral appointment in the parish of Carlow, where he became
Administrator of the Cathedral parish in 1842. A year later he returned to
the College as Vice-President and Professor of Greek and Sacred Scripture.
He succeeded Dr. Taylor as President in 1850. His term as fourth President
lasted until his appointment to succeed Dr. Francis Haly as Bishop of
Kildare & Leighlin.
His Episcopal consecration took place in Carlow Cathedral on
March 30, 1856. Twenty-five years later, elaborate celebrations took place
in Carlow to mark his Silver Jubilee as Bishop. In 1869, he had received the
assistance of a Coadjutor Bishop, the Vincentian James Lynch, former Rector
of the Irish College in Paris, and since 1866 Coadjutor Bishop of the
Western District in Scotland.
Image source: Comerford, M. Collections
relating to the Dioceses of Kildare and Leighlin. Volume 1.1883.
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