The Correspondence of Fr Matthew Gaughren OMI (1888-1890)


  • Edmundo Murray
  • Edward Walsh



Fr Matthew Gaughren, Dresden, Letters, Ireland, Immigration


In mid-1888, Fr Matthew Gaughren (1843-1914) was sent to Argentina by his superior, the O.M.I. provincial in Great Britain, on a “begging expedition”, which aimed at collecting money among the Irish settlers to lessen the debt upon the church of Our Lady of Grace at Tower Hill. However, Gaughren changed the priorities of his mission in South America and appealed to the English-speaking community to support the Irish immigrants who arrived in Buenos Aires in February 1889 on the Dresden steamer ship from Cork and were sent to an ill-fated Irish Colony in Napostá, near the port of Bahía Blanca. His thinking and his struggle are revealed in the following letters, collected from various archival sources, which are now being published, most of them for the first time, in their complete form.

Author Biographies

Edmundo Murray

Edmundo Murray is an Argentine author, born in a family of mixed Colombian, Irish and Swiss roots. He obtained a PhD in Latin American literature from University of Zurich (Romanisches Seminar), and a M.A. from University of Geneva. He is a lecturer and frequent contributor of articles in cultural history, regional cultural integration and Irish and Latin American studies. He is a Founding Member of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies, and member of the Swiss Society of Americanists. Founder and first editor of Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, a journal focusing on relations between Ireland and Latin America. Visiting professor at University of Cape Verde. Research consultant of the West Africa Institute. Advisory Board member and contributor to “Ireland and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History” (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2008). Poet and a short-story writer, he published “Poemas Nómades” (1999) and “Taxonomía Fantástica de los Árboles de Buenos Aires” (2000). From 2001 to 2020, Murray worked as publishing officer at WTO Publications, the in-house publisher of the World TRade Organization. He has published widely on Irish-Latin American relations, art and diplomacy, and links between food and music.

Edward Walsh

Edward Walsh holds a MSc in architecture from the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, Faculty of the Built Environment, UCL. Contributor to Archivium Hibernicum, Collectanea Hibernica, Riocht na Mide, Irish Dictionary of National Biography. Native of Cork.


Maison Générale Oblats de Marie Immaculée, “Biographies de famille: Mgr. Mathieu Gaughren, 1843-1914 (857)” in: Missions de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie Immaculée (Rome: Maison Générale O.M.I., 1920). Vol. 54, N° 211, pp. 192-199.

Murray, Thomas, The Story of the Irish in Argentina (New York, P. J. Kennedy & Sons, 1919).

Necrology OMI, Anglo Irish Province, 2007.

OMIPAD : Order of Mary Immaculate, Provincial Archives, Dublin; Oblate Fathers, Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8.




How to Cite

Murray, E., & Walsh, E. (2023). The Correspondence of Fr Matthew Gaughren OMI (1888-1890). ABEI Journal: The Brazilian Journal of Irish Studies, 24(1), 83-120.



The Irish in South America