The Bishop MacKiernan Collection



Dr Francis J. MacKiernan (1926-2005) was appointed Bishop of Kilmore in 1972 and served until 1998. In an act of generosity, he gave his complete collection of books on permanent loan to Cavan County Library Service so that they would be available for use by local historians. Dr MacKiernan was a founding member of Cumann Seanchais Bhreifne in January 1956 and contributed greatly to documenting the history of the diocese through his own books and articles. In addition, his constant encouragement of others to research and write local history, greatly adds to our understanding of the history of the county.  

The library of Bishop Francis J. MacKiernan consists of more than 2,000 volumes. His generous donation has added considerably to a local studies collection which is acknowledged as one of the most impressive and wide ranging in the country. 

Dr MacKiernan had a deep interest in Cavan County Library service and took immense pride in seeing the new Johnston Central Library come to fruition. Bishop MacKiernan browsed book and auction catalogues for history books that would enhance the library shelves and was a central figure in the establishment of the Local Studies Collection. He bought and donated many items during lean times when public funding was limited.  

Access and Finding Aid 

An index to the collection is available online

A hard copy of the index is also available at the front desk in Johnston Central Library. 

You can view an introduction to the collection presented by Monsignor Liam Kelly 

To access items from the Bishop MacKiernan Collection, it is necessary to make an appointment.

All enquiries must be directed to archives@cavancoco.ie

A log of all researchers and items requested will be recorded.