The Singing-Masters by John O’Meara

Published by the Lilliput Press Ltd 1990



Born in 1915, John O’Meara writes his autobiography beginning with his youth in Eyrecourt Co Galway and school at Rockwell College Co Tipperary. He spent two years as a novice at Emo Court, which was at that time the novitiate of St Mary’s of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. He continued with classical studies at UCD and Oxford, eventually deciding to leave the Society of Jesus. He became Professor of Latin in UCD in 1948.



Chapter Three of The Singing-Masters deals in depth with John O’Meara’s time in Emo from 1933 to 1935. He gives detail of the gardens – “rich in rhododendrons and wild, heavily scented, yellow azaleas in the spring”; the estate with its “impressive avenue of Wellingtonian pines”; and the interior of the house – “good in parts” but “much the most pleasant and elegant of all the houses I have lived in”. He describes the routine and daily life of Jesuit novices at that time in St Mary’s, their spiritual regime, their penances, his companion novices and their superiors, and the good food that appeared at regular intervals.