Patrick McAlister, Bishop of Down and Connor, 1886–95
‘This book is yet another well researched scholarly piece of work by Ambrose Macaulay. In completing it, the author has not just added to the history of his own diocese but to that of the Irish Church as a whole. It will be welcomed by all those interested in Church history.’ Paul Connell, Furrow.
'Ambrose Macaulay has now written three valuable studies of nineteenth-century Down and Connor in which ecclesiastical, social and political history have been fruitfully brought together', A.C. Hepburn, Irish Economic and Social History (2007).
‘This book is written in a clear style and one might say with perfect analysis. One can read it very quickly. One could also say that it has understandings and lessons for Belfast and the north of Ireland today’, Réamonn Ó Muirí, Seanchas Ard Mhacha.
‘This book presents a micro-study of what was taking place in Irish history in the 1880s and 1890s, but with the added dimension of sectarian tension in McAlister’s diocese … A comprehensive range of primary sources is utilized ... Chapters in educational and pastoral developments and two appendixes provide a wealth of statistical information on the population of parishes and schools and church and school programs. A good biographer must impartially present the evidence, warts and all, which allows the reader to draw conclusions, and Macaulay is adept at this … Perhaps most valuable of all is the insight the book gives into the deep-rooted resistance to nationalist aspirations that existed in Belfast and the surrounding area long before the turn of the century’, Louise Fuller, American Historical Review (April 2008).
‘This biography of a neglected but interesting figure deserves praise. The home rule campaign and the denouement of Parnell have continued to attract a great deal of historical attention; yet, few works mention Patrick McAlister. Mgr Macaulay has both repaired that omission and broadened our knowledge of Down and Connor at that time', Daithí Ó Corráin, Irish Historical Studies (May 2008).