Liam Swords

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Liam Swords
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Born(1937-01-04)January 4, 1937
DiedFebruary 19, 2011(2011-02-19) (aged 74)
  • Catholic priest
  • Historian

Liam Swords, was an Irish Catholic priest, and historian. A priest in the Dublin diocese, he worked with the television company Radharc.

Following ordination he was sent by the archbishop of Dublin to New York to study Film and Television, returning to Ireland to work on Radharc first for the Outlook programme, he directed 17 films for Radharc.[1] He taught in Colaiste Padraig, in his native Swinford for 11 years.[2] In the 1970s he was appointed to the Irish College in Paris the first resident there since the 1950's, as the college was now housing a polish seminary, the rectors since the war only visited occasionally. As well as serving the Irish Community in Paris, he worked on the archive in the college, liaising with the foundation which administered the college and was instrumental along with Monsignor Brendan Devlin who was appointed rector in 1984, in the development of the college into a Cultural Institution, and also his role becoming the Irish Chaplaincy in Paris.[3] In 1979 he joined the Catholic Communications Institute of Ireland, and in 1980 he was appointed director of Veritas publishing.[4]

In 1995 he returned to Ireland and continued to work as a research and writer, producing a number books on the history of the Diocese of Achonry.[5]

He died in 2011. The Liam Swords Bursary was set up in his memory, to fund a researcher working for three months in the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris,[6] with the Liam Swords lecture being presented after that.[7]


  • The Green Cockade: The Irish in the French Revolution 1789-1815, by Liam Swords, Published by Glendale (1989)
  • A Hidden Church: The Diocese of Achonry 1689-1818 by Liam Swords, Columba Press, (1998)
  • In Their Own Words: The Famine in North Connacht 1845-1849, by Liam Swords, Columba Press (1999)
  • A Dominant Church: The Diocese of Achonry 1818-1960 by Liam Swords, Columba Press (2004)[8]
  • The Flight of the Earls: A Popular History, by Liam Swords, Columba Press (2007)[9]
  • A People's Church: The Diocese of Achonry: From the Sixth to the Seventeenth Century by Liam Swords, Columba Press (2014)


  1. History Radharc Films
  2. About the Author Liam Swords The flight of the earls, Columba Books.
  3. Chaplaincy History, Irish Chaplaincy Paris.
  4. Priest who realised power of the mediaObituary, Irish Times, March 19, 2011.
  5. Background to The Rev. Liam Swords Foundation Bursary Centre Culturel Irlandais.
  6. The Liam Swords Bursary
  7. Mass for Fr Liam Swords and Annual Lecture 2016
  8. A fine impartial volume Irish Times, Saturday February 19, 2005.
  9. Bookworm, Reviews, History Ireland, Issue 5, Sept/Oct 2007.

External links

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