The Riddle of Father Hackett

The role of the church in political life is as passionately disputed today as it ever was. In this new National Library of Australia publication, author Brenda Niall looks at the life of Irish Jesuit priest William Hackett (1878-1954) and his involvement in the national movement of Ireland which led to his exile in Australia. The narrative, which moves from Ireland to Australia, with six chapters set in each country, shows the complex intertwining strands of Hackett’s Parnellite inheritance, his passionate republicanism and his Jesuit vocation.

A distinguished biographer, Brenda Niall was awarded an AO for services to Australian literature in 2004 and an honorary D.Litt from Monash in 2005 where, until her retirement in 1995, she was Reader in the Department of English.  

Book Cover

Download hi-res cover image (4.20MB)

Sample images

sample image

Download image (2.84MB)

The last known letter of
Michael Collins written to
William Hackett the night
before he was killed. (1922)

sample image

Download image (315KB)

Archbishop Daniel Mannix
and William Hackett (left)
at Queenscliff (1940s)

sample image

Download image (4.04MB)

Prime Minister Sir Robert
Menzies with Eamon de
Valera (1941)

Back to the top