FR. STEPHEN MC TERNAN (1810-1906) – priest, nationalist and benefactor.

Stephen McTernan was born in the townland of Sheskin, Killargue.  He studied the classics in Sligo and Cavan and was ordained in Maynooth in 1849.  As a young priest he backed the Tenant Rights campaign.  Later on he became a strong advocate of Home Rule for Ireland.    In 1877 he was appointed P.P. of Killasnett, where he would remain for the rest of his life.  Fr. Stephen soon became identified with the three great national movements of the time – the revival of the Irish language, the Land League and the co-operative movement.  One of the initiatives he took to revive the language in Killasnett involved the organisation of Irish classes in the parish school.  In recognition of his work in promoting Irish culture he was elected vice-president of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish Language and also appointed a member of the Royal Irish Academy.  He chaired many Land League meetings during the 1880s and on one occasion welcomed Michael Davitt to Drumkeerin.  In 1899, in conjunction with Sir Jocelyn Gore-Booth of Lissadell, he founded the Killasnett Co-operative Society – which is still going strong almost 120 years later!  In his last will and testament Fr. Stephen donated all his books for the establishment of a public library in Manorhamilton.  He also left £10 to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, £12 to the Catholic Club and £40 towards the creation of a suitable industry – all in Manorhamilton.  He died in Mullies and is interred in a vault at the rear of the church.