Charitable Donations and Bequests (Ireland) Act 1844

The Charitable Bequests Act was introduced by Sir Robert Peel in 1844, in an attempt to win over moderate Catholic support. The Act enabled Catholics to leave money and items in their last will and testament to the Catholic Church. The act made Parish priests less dependent on their parishioner for financial support.

Three Catholic bishops, led by Daniel Murray, accepted places on the new supervisory board. They came under attack from John MacHale and others, who objected to a continued prohibition of legacies to religious orders, to the invalidation of bequests made less than three months before death, and to what they claimed was potential interference in church discipline. Daniel O'Connell, after some hesitation, supported MacHale. The dispute was a shorter‐lived, though quite bitter, demonstration of the same division within the clergy, between an accommodationist minority, and a politically militant majority, that was revealed in the controversies over national education and the Queen's Colleges.[1]

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