Father Senan Moynihan

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Issue 4 (Winter 1998), Letters, Letters, Volume 6

Sir,—GregoryAllen’s article on Carl Hardebeck in the last issue was most welcome,especially at a time when Irish vocal music enjoys such popularity. Therestoration of Hardebeck’s name and contribution should be ofsignificant interest to all contemporary students of the art form.
It is ironic, however, that in crediting the editors and friends ofthe Capuchin Annual with making Hardebeck’s work better known andassisting him when in financial difficulties, Mr Allen omitted theirnames. The editor of the Capuchin Annual from 1930 to 1954 was FatherSenan Moynihan, OFM, Cap., a Kerryman, and a giant in the preservationand promotion of Irish culture. While he often referred to FatherGerald MacCann, OFM, Cap. of Belfast, as the co-editor, there was, infact, no co-editor at that time. Father Gerald edited the Father MathewRecord, a monthly publication of the Capuchin Fathers. The two editorsco-operated in numerous ventures, including the Hardebeck TestimonialCommittee, established in 1943 at the time of the Hardebeck symposium.James J. Campbell of Belfast served as Honorary Treasurer and T.J.Molloy of County Dublin as Honorary Secretary. Both were regularcontributors to the Annual and members of its board. To raise money forthe fund, major concerts were held in those two cities. A third concertwas organised in New York City in 1945 by Máire Hegarty Ó Scannláin, aformer pupil of Hardebeck and one of many overseas subscribers to theAnnual. The fund was closed in 1948, having accomplished its purpose:it kept Carl Hardebeck from begging in the streets the last two yearsof his life, and it supported his widow after his death.
It isto be hoped that Gregory Allen’s research will revive interest in CarlHardebeck’s work. It is also important to credit the name of the manwho first motivated so many, near and far, to appreciate Hardebeck’sachievement and to relieve his misfortune. That man was Father SenanMoynihan.

—Yours etc.,

New York


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