Clune, Patrick Joseph (1864–1935), catholic archbishop of Perth, was born 27 January 1864 at Ruan, Co. Clare, fifth of eleven children of James Clune, farmer, and Margaret Clune (née Lynch). Educated at St Flannan?s College, Ennis, he entered All Hallows College, Dublin, where he was ordained (June 1886) for the diocese of Goulburn, New South Wales. After teaching English at St Patrick's College, Goulburn, and serving as administrator of the cathedral, he left for England (1893) to train as a Redemptorist missioner in Liverpool. Attached to the Redemptorists at Limerick, where he was sub-director of the Holy Family archconfraternity, he conducted several parochial missions throughout England and Ireland. In 1899 he was sent as one of the first Redemptorists to Perth, Western Australia, where the success of his mission led to his appointment (1905) as first rector of the Redemptorists' foundation in Wellington, New Zealand. Returning to Perth as rector of the monastery (1909), he was chosen to succeed Matthew Gibney as the new bishop of Perth and was consecrated 17 March 1911; when the see was elevated to an archbishopric (1913) he became its first incumbent. In 1916 he was appointed acting chaplain general to the Australian imperial forces, visiting troops at the Egyptian and western fronts. Back in Perth (March 1917) he campaigned for the families of refugees and internees and publicly supported conscription.
Clune visited Ireland in late 1920; his outrage at the shooting dead on ‘Bloody Sunday' (21 November 1920) of his nephew Conor Clune (b. 1893) while in British custody prompted his active intervention in the Irish question. He approached Lloyd George on 1 December 1920 in the hope of doing something to promote peace. Meeting Arthur Griffith (qv) and Eoin MacNeill (qv) in Mountjoy jail, he had secret discussions with Michael Collins (qv) on 4 December. His truce initiatives were thwarted by hardliners in the British cabinet and Dublin Castle, who insisted on the surrender of IRA arms. He also failed to achieve the removal of travel restrictions on the pro-nationalist Daniel Mannix (qv), archbishop of Melbourne. Leaving for Rome (January 1921), Clune ascertained that a pontifical document was about to be issued, condemning political violence in Ireland. Considering it potentially damaging to Sinn Féin, he persuaded the pope to issue a more tempered pronouncement. Back in Perth his speech on conditions in Ireland was denounced by Sir Francis Newgate, governor of Western Australia, as likely to revive bitterness among the Irish in Australia.
Developing his archdiocese, he erected fifty-six new buildings, culminating in the new Gothic cathedral in May 1930. In 1923 he supported the establishment of the ‘Bushies scheme’ for the religious education of children in isolated areas, and the Newman Society of Western Australia, founded in 1925 for catholic university students. In 1933, owing to increasing infirmities, he abdicated much of his duties to his coadjutor. He died 24 May 1935 and was buried at the Redemptorist plot at Karrahatta cemetery, Perth.