Daniel Murray was undoubtedly the outstanding Irish Catholic archbishop of the nineteenth century. He was a man of elegance and charm, ready to listen to others and to find good in them. To the redoubtable Bishop Doyle of Kildare and Leighlin, the archbishop was `an angel of a man’.His concern for the education of the poor led to the founding of the Irish Sisters of Charity and the invitation to Dublin of the Sisters of Mercy and the Irish Christian Brothers. His interest in the education of the middle class was manifested in the foundation of the Sisters of Loreto and in his support for the schools of the Jesuits and the Vincentians.
A man of great pastoral energy, he built numerous churches and readily encouraged lay involvement in the work of the diocese. He was actively involved in assisting the Holy See in the appointment of priests and bishops around the world and his efforts to provide aid to the needy during the Great Famine, and the veneration and respect he inspired in his clergy, further contributed to the high esteem in which he was held. And yet, he is a virtually forgotten figure in Irish history.This neglect is related to the stance he took on some issues of the day – his support for certain government initiatives, his opposition to his clergy’s involvement in politics, and his caution about openly supporting Repeal.