Thomas Croke was born in Castlecor (parish of Kilbrin), Co Cork, in 1824. He became the second Catholic Bishop of Auckland New Zealand before returning to Ireland as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly.
He was a strong and public supporter of Irish nationalism aligning himself with the Irish National Land League during the Land War, and with the chairman of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Charles Stewart Parnell, although he distanced himself from disgraced Parnell after the politician’s liaison with Kitty O’Shea became public.
The New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia states that on his return to Ireland from New Zealand “He at once resumed his former active interest in political affairs and became a strong supporter of the Home Rule movement under the leadership of Isaac Butt. In the more advanced agrarian projects of the Land League days he was side by side with Charles Stewart Parnell in popular leadership, and was…
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