Fr. Anthony Fahy O.P.
But true hearts will treasure the name of
And God’s self will measure the fame of him,
When Old Ireland will never hear shame of him,
On the day of all days.
Apostle prized from
From Domnick’s order sprung,
He came – our father’s guide and chief
When this free land was young.
He came top bear their
To shed its light around,
That hope and love of Patrick’s God
In Gaelic hearts abound.
Nor power nor wealth
until his death
Did Father Fahy win,
But humble mien and simple faith
And duty daily done.
Down to the last grim
When Plague shut out the sky,
He laid his life – as Dom’nick’s son
Knew how to dare and die.
Our pride it is he took his stand
On Obligado’s  day
To head our Father for the land!
With Fr. Fahy say.
His heart was large his
means were small
To do a giant’s toil,
He dug the garden, built the wall
And tilled the prairies soil.
He gave us name and
And made this home our own,
We love him, sing him, keep his tryst
To reap the seed he’s sown.
Conor Mac Nessa 
Fr. Fahy With His Tall Hat (c.1860s)
(Sinsinawa Dominican Archives, Wisconsin, USA, Cloran/Fahy
Papers, DS8000, Box No.4A, F15)
P. Fahy street in
Capilla del Señor.
field of endeavour few reach the greatest heights of achievement.
Fewer still transcend even that fame to touch the renown possessed by
Canon Anthony Fahy O.P. Between 1850 and the 1870’s everybody in
Buenos Aires knew who he was. He had ease of access to bishops,
presidents, politicians, newspaper proprietors and editors, bankers,
ship owners, merchants and farmers. And if he had the entreé to the
great of society, then Irish immigrants and the many not so greats of
society had access to their chaplain. He was famous, but totally
unaffected by fame. Both catholic and non-catholic alike respected his
integrity, honesty and total lack of humbug. Direct of speech, almost
gruff when he enquired of all who came to see him “who are you and
what do you want”, he was not much given to idle chit chat or gossip.
He was a man of God, ever practical and always assiduous in caring for
his far flung flock. And they in turn loved and revered the humble
friar who was everybody’s priest – Irish and Argentine alike. Today he
is still remembered in Argentina, two hundred years after his birth on
11 January 1805, by the Instituto Fahy, Moreno, which bears his name
and a street in the Federal Capital named in his honour.
extrodinary work and shining priestly zeal had not gone unnoticed and
in recognition of his long service to the Irish Community he was named
an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Buenos Aires by President
Bartolomé Mitre. A totally unique honour for a foreigner and Dominican
Fahy wrote no poetry, and this somewhat forgotten item (written by
Conor Mac Nessa, alias Patrick McManus, ) may not be the greatest
of verse, but it does highlight the virtues of a very remarkable
priest who is an emblematic figure of Irish emigration and settlement
There are many myths
and legends concerning Anthony Fahy and as a Hollywood
scriptwriter wrote “when the truth becomes legend print the legend.”
But what are the facts about Fahy’s death as this is a fascinating
example of how historical myth is fabricated. Anthony Fahy died of
heart attack on 20 February 1871, and the newspapers reported that he
died of yellow fever owing to his attending a sick Italian woman. This
was widely reported as fact and most people accepted that he died of
yellow fever. But the death certificate signed by two doctors,
unequivocally states that “...he died from heart disease."  This
writer had often heard and read that Anthony Fahy always wore a top
hat, but never saw any evidence until finding one such photograph. 
By Edward Walsh*
* Edward Walsh is
an independent scholar who lives in London. He wrote An Irish
Catholic Association Pilgrimage to Lujan, Province of Buenos Aires
(1918?) in: 'Collectanea Hibernica, Sources For Irish History'
Vol. 42 (Killiney, Co. Dublin, 2000), pp. 242-244, and The
Irish in the Argentine Republic: John Cullen's 1888 Report,
in: 'Collectanea Hibernica, Sources For Irish History' Vol. 43 (Killiney,
Co. Dublin, 2001), pp. 239-246.
Edward Walsh, Irish Argentine Historical Society
Update: January 2005