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Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem - Ireland - Timeline in Images

Such are they whom God chooses for Himself and gathers from the furthest ends of the earth, servants from among the bravest in Israel to guard watchfully and faithfully His Sepulchre......, sword in hand, ready for battle
St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

The Archives of the Lieutenancy begin in 1975, with the Investiture of Thomas F. Sheahan, an architect from Limerick, as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre at St. George's Cathedral, Southwark, London.

Thomas Sheahan had, in his professional capacity, acted as architect to Most Rev. Dr. Thomas Morris, then Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, on many occasions.  A friendship had developed, and in 1977, Mr. Sheahan wrote to the Archbishop telling him of his membership of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

The resident Knights and Dames in Ireland asked Thomas Sheahan, John Harrington and Peter Taylor (acting Secretary) to initiate action towards the formal establishment of the Order in Ireland.

In June, 1985 Tomas Cardinal O Fiaich brought the formal request for the establishment of an Irish Lieutenancy before the Conference of Irish Bishops meeting at Maynooth College.  No objection was raised, the proposal was approved by the Irish Bishops and on 9th July 1985, Cardinal O Fiaich wrote to inform Mr. Sheahan formally that: "...at their meeting last month the Bishops approved the setting-up of an Irish Lieutenancy of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.... I am sure that those Irish Knights who are members of the Order will now take the next step under your leadership and that you will be in touch with me later".

Decrees were solemnly issued by the Cardinal Grand Master, one establishing the Irish Lieutenancy in June 1986 and two others appointing Confrere Thomas F. Sheahan as first Lieutenant, and Archbishop Thomas Morris as Grand Prior.

As Lieutenant-Elect, Thomas Sheahan proposed the following nominations to the Council of the Lieutenancy:

Chancellor: John Harrington KC*HS
Secretary: Michael McGrath KHS
Ecclesiastical Master of Ceremonies: Very Rev. Matthew McGrath
KHS, P.P., Holy Cross
Lay Master of Ceremonies: Michael Joseph McDonnell KHS
Treasurer: Laurence Joseph Tuomey KHS
Councillors: Peter I Taylor KCHS
Joseph Hugh Desmond Ryan KHS

The first Admission ceremony took place in Holy Cross Abbey over the period 25 and 26 July, 1986. Ceremonies of admission took place in Holy Cross until 1998, when increasing numbers required the relocation of ceremonies the Pontifical College of St Patrick at Maynooth.