Alderman Richard Sheil (1790 – 1871)

On the 26th February, 1871, Alderman Richard Sheil passed away at the ripe age of eighty years. For fifty years he had been a prominent figure in every Catholic movement. Born in Dublin, in 1790, he was a member of the same family which gave to Ireland the brilliant writer and M.P., Richard Lalor Sheil. After spending many years of his life in Hayti, Mr. Sheil came to Liverpool, and carried on large business with great success. No Catholic movement was complete without his presence, whilst his interest in public matters was so intense that the Tory Corporation paid him the compliment of naming one of its public parks with his surname. One of the first three Catholic councillors, the first Catholic alderman, he had the unique honour of being the first to re-enter the Council and again become the only Catholic alderman. Dark complexioned, he looked like a Spanish monk, and his merchant friends used to say of him that he had missed his vocation. His warm Irish temperament and mellifluous brogue made him a host of friends in all parties which he with kindly wisdom turned to account for the benefit of his co-religionists. Indeed, had he so desired even a Conservative majority would have elected him to the honourable position of the Chief Magistracy. To do honour to his memory, and as an acknowledgement of his signal services to the Church, the Vicar-General sang the Requiem Mass in the absence through illness of the Bishop. His mortal remains were interred in Anfield Cemetery.

This is from the Catholic History Of Liverpool,  by Thomas Burke; Liverpool : C. Tinling & Co., Ltd., Printers, 53, Victoria Street.  1910

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