The Kildare Observer 20 May 1899
ROYAL HONOURS FOR A CO. KILDARE GIRL
Dear Sir – I am sure that it will be gratifying to many of your readers to learn the marked success of a native of this parish, who has attained the high distinction of Royal honours at Windsor Castle, conferred upon her by our illustrious Sovereign last week. Thursday evening, 11th inst, the Queen conferred the decoration of the Royal Red Cross on Miss Teresa M’Grath, for special attention and competency in nursing the sick and wounded at Gulistau, Malakand, and Egypt, during the recent campaign in the Soudan.
On the same occasion, the Order for Distinguished Services was conferred on Father Robert Brindle, now his Lordship the lately consecrated Coadjutor to His Eminence Cardinal Vaughan. The meeting, under such exceptional circumstances and after many vicissitudes, of the humble, self sacrificing priest (of Irish origin) and the friendless young Irish girl, both having but one ideal to sustain them in all their innumerable trials and perils – the Supernatural; the Ever-seeing, and yet the Unseen! – is a reflection of a character inspiring and elevating, and indicates the deep conception of duty, by which even a poor young girl, animated by no hope of fame, or reward, but solely sustained by religion, and a sense of duty, to do do with her might whatever she undertook, is an evidence or the powers and qualities of the Irish character, that has been transmitted in poetry and prose; and still has its periodical illustrations in actual life wherever the sons and daughters of Ireland are to be found.
Miss Teresa M’Grath is the daughter of an old and respectable family of farmers, originally from the County Wicklow. Her brother and mother reside at present on their property, about two miles from Kill. Her father the late Phil M’Grath, was a respected member of the Naas Board of Guardians, a body which was always regarded as the premier one of a kind in Ireland, leading the way in intelligence, efficiency, and public spirit – for very many years. Other youths of this parish have attained high rank and distinction within the last 20 years, but none gained Royal honours. Our Irish artist, Mrs (Dr) Dunne, Florence, Italy, whose statue of Father Mathew is a noted and conspicuous companion figure for O’Connell’s, in the leading street in Dublin, is too well and honourably known to particularise further. And there is no younger priest in all the Academical Institutions that abound in the U.S., America, so brilliant, learned, zealous – as good – as Rev Henry M’Dermott, M.A., LL.D. (Dublin). And in conclusion, I find the words of Pope having a special application in the foregoing connection of object lessons from humble life.
Honor and shame from no condition rise;
Act well your part – there, all the honor lies.
Believe me, yours sincerely,
J. Gowing, P.P