(1864-1929), republican activist and journalist, was born in
Mountcharles, Co. Donegal, the son of
Patrick McManus sen. and Mary Molloy.
His brother Seamus McManus was the author of the Story of the Irish
Patrick McManus went
to school in Glencoagh, and at fourteen was awarded the first class
certificate by the Board of Education. McManus
emigrated to North America and spent eight years in the United
States navy. Patrick McManus then settled in Argentina, where he attended
college at Mar del Plata. After two years, he was appointed to
teach mathematics and English literature. McManus was hired as
tutor to the Leloir nephews of Buenos Aires provincial
governor, who after some years made him administrator of an
estancia in Pergamino.
Patrick McManus travelled several times to Ireland. In 1897 he
also visited France, and wrote articles for "L'Irlande libre": Toujours le menes
(sic) (October 1898), A quoi tient la superiorité
Anglo-Saxone (New Year 1898). He also directed the 100th anniversary of United Irishmen in Mountcharles.
Seven years after the founding of the Gaelic League in Dublin,
the first branch was established in Buenos Aires by Patrick
McManus, John Curry, and others. In 1907 Patrick McManus married
to Elsa, née O'Rourke, a sister of William Bulfin's wife Ann.
They had three sons, Niall, Conor and Cormac.
On 17 March 1912 McManus
launched Fianna, which was "vehemently anti-British, referring
to the 'Empire of the Devil' and issuing warnings of British
plans to seize the south of Patagonia. The paper never missed
an opportunity to attack Britain's occupation of the Falkland
(Malvinas) Islands. [...] The paper was illustrated with
pictures of Ireland such as 'British authority destroying an
Irish peasant's home with battering ram' (5 January 1912)" (Marshall 1996: 9). Fianna
"brought years of grumblings and
discontent of the people" (Murray 1919: 421), a discontent
mainly about the money collected among Irish Argentines and
used to build a church for Italian priests, and the sale of
the property of the Catholic Orphanage. Patrick McManus signed
his articles with various pen names, among them "Padraig
MacManus", "Cormac Mac Art", "Conor Mac Neasa", etc. He wrote
poems like Hugh of Donegal, Evening at Sea, and In
Fair Donegal. The magazine Fianna became well-known
in Gaelic circles. Patrick Pearse's An Claideamh Solus
said that Fianna would put others to shame for its
content and its 120 pages printed on glossy paper.
to the launching of this paper, the Irish community in
Argentina split into two factions, one of them being led by Patrick McManus, Fr. Edmund Flannery and Carlos Brady.
They seemed "to have been composed of the Irish
Republican League and the Irish Catholic Association. [...]
Dublin, it seemed, was of little importance to the factions
amongst the Buenos Aires Irish" (Kennedy 2000: 59). In 1922 Fr.
Edmund Flannery and Carlos Brady addressed a letter to Michael
Collins and George Gavan Duffy in Dublin. They represented McManus
group, and they wrote on Irish Republican
League notepaper. The letter "was little more than a thinly
disguised attempt by the McManus faction to gain the upper
hand in Irish Argentinean domestic politics by appealing to
the Dublin government. McManus was credited with maintaining
Irish principles in Argentina and resisting the Anglicisation
of the Irish colony" (Ginnell to Gavan Duffy 3 April
travelled to Europe, most likely to Ireland, in 1912, 1914 and 1927. In that first trip
he bought Rossylongan, two miles west of Donegal Town, and
later Wood Lodge in Salthill, near Mountcharles. The McManus
brothers were noted for their generosity to many people in the area and
the church at home and in Argentina. In 1928 Patrick McManus'
three sons were at college in Paris and
their parents came there to spend the Christmas holidays with
them. An influenza epidemic was raging at the time, and
Patrick McManus and his wife Elsa died within a week, in
Kennedy, Michael, 'Mr Blythe, I Think, Hears from him
Occasionally': The Experiences of Irish Diplomats in Latin
America, 1919-23, in: Kennedy, Michael and J. M. Skelly, "Irish
Foreign Policy 1919-1966: From Independence to
Internationalism" (Dublin: Four Courts, 2000), pp. 44-60.
Marshall, Oliver, The English-Language Press in Latin
Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London,
- Meehan, Helen, The McManus Brothers: Patrick (1864-1929),
Seamus (1868-1960) in "The Donegal Annual" Journal of the
Donegal Historical Society, N° 46 (1994).
- Murray, Thomas,
The Story of the Irish in
Argentina (New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons, 1919).