Myles McPartlan was born in Ceann Beg, in Inishmagrath, in 1669. Around 1687 he travelled to Munster to pursue a course of studies. He may even have spent some time studying in the Irish College in Louvain. He was ordained a priest in Cork in1695.
By this time the Penal Laws were in full force and, as a result, Fr Myles, on his return to his home parish, had to go on the run, constantly moving from area to area in an effort to evade capture.
In the 1730’s Lady Townsend, who was well disposed to the local Catholic population, gave permission to Fr Myles to build a church, on condition that it remain unroofed.
The Church was built in the townland of Killadiskert and is now known as Kilbride Church. The date of the construction of the church, 1735, is carved on the lintel over the doorway.
In general Fr Myles had to say Mass in a penal chapel near the lake shore. A society known as “The Old Hibernians” was formed to keep watch over and to protect the priest while he was saying Mass.
Fr Myles died in 1737 and was buried inside Kilbride Church. He was parish priest of Inishmagrath for at least 33 years and perhaps for as long as 42 years.
In1817 Fr Myles had a chalice made.
The chalice has survived to this day and it is still used during the celebration of Mass in St Brigid's Church, Drumkeeran.
The inscription on the chalice can be quite clearly seen in the following photo.
The full inscription, in Latin, reads as follows:
MILESIUS McPARLAN PRESBYTER ME FIERI FECIT AD 1718
We can loosely translate this inscription as follows: