Cardinal Paul Cullen is one of the giants of Irish Catholic Church history. He was the first Irishman to be made a Cardinal and created the concept of papal infallibility. Cardinal Cullen was born in Prospect, Kildare most likely on 29 April 1803 and has a link to Paulstown through one of his grandparents.
Cardinal Cullen’s mother was a woman by the name of Mary Maher. While the Maher name has been evident in records concerning Paulstown for hundreds of years this is not where the link is. Mary Maher’s parents were Patrick Maher and Catherine Moore. Catherine Moore, Cardinal Cullen’s maternal grandmother, was born in Paulstown.
She has been described as “full of the ardour of true piety, and of that devotional zeal for which the faithful of Kilkenny have been at all times so remarkable”. As well as this it seems that Catherine Moore Maher was not easily scared or intimidated.
A story is told by Patrick Francis Moran, bishop of Ossory in the 1870s, where her son-in-law, Hugh Cullen (father of Cardinal Cullen) was made a prisoner and charged with aiding the 1798 rebels. Cullen was being transported and was denied the opportunity to have food or water. Catherine Moore Maher, ignoring the armed guards escorting Cullen, got up on the chaise he was being transported in, handed him a bottle of wine and said “cheer up my son, God will soon send you back victorious to us”.
It is always worth noting that Moore’s birth information is taken from a secondary historical source which, unfortunately, does not reference any Church or civil record. As any good genealogist knows, primary sources are always preferable.
 Three different dates of birth are given in various publications. See p.208 of O’Carroll’s 2008 publication Paul Cardinal Cullen for more details.
 MacSuibhne, Peadar. 1955. The Early Cullen Family in Reportorium Novum: Dublin Diocesan Historical Record. Vol 1. No. 2 p. 192.
 Moran, Patrick Francis. 1877. The Letters of Rev. James Maher, D.D., Dublin: Browne and Nolan p.iii
 Ibid. p.iii-iv