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John Charles McQuaid
John Charles McQuaid was born in Cootehill, County Cavan in 1895. He joined the religious congregation, the Holy Ghost Fathers, where he taught at the highly regarded private Roman Catholic secondary school Blackrock College in Dublin, which educated many senior Irish political and business leaders. As Fr. McQuaid he was close to former Blackrock College teacher and President of the Executive Council (prime minister) Eamon de Valera, and influenced de Valera in the drafting the modern Irish constitution, Bunreacht na hEireann.
In 1940, he was made Archbishop of Dublin. In his period as archbishop he proved a highly influential political figure. His criticism of the controversial Mother and Child Scheme in the early 1950s (aided by political misjudgments by the sponsoring minister, Noel Browne and tensions between Browne and his party leader, Sean MacBride over Browne's behaviour towards other ministers) helped pave the way for the First Inter-Party Government's decision to abandon the scheme, which proposed offering means test-free access to health care for mothers.
McQuaid was critical of post-Vatican II Catholicism. When making his automatic offer of retirement of from his see to Pope Paul VI, he was stunned to have it accepted, and further stunned when one of his internal church critics, the liberal Dermot Ryan , was appointed to his post instead.
McQuaid died in his private residence in Killiney in Dublin in 1973. He is buried in St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop.
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