Mooney, Donatus (Donagh) (1577–1624), Franciscan priest and historian, was born near Ballymore, Co. Donegal; nothing else is known of his family background. After a short military career in Donegal, he joined the Franciscan order c.October 1600. Before he could finish his noviciate, the Donegal friary was destroyed and he was transferred to Multyfarnham, Co. Westmeath.
Two days before his profession, the Franciscan Irish provincial, Fr John McGrath, was captured with some other friars, and it is reported that Mooney allowed himself to be captured so that he could share a cell with him and so take his Franciscan vows. He soon escaped and proceeded to act as the guardian of Armagh at a chapter held in woods near Leitrim. He was ordained at Dromahair, and then went to France, where he taught philosophy and theology. In May 1607 he became the first guardian of the newly founded Irish Franciscan college of St Anthony at Louvain. On 14 January 1611 he was elected vicar provincial of the Irish Franciscan province, and in Waterford on 18 September 1615 was unanimously elected provincial.
Over the next two years he made an official visitation to all the friaries in Ireland; in the course of this, he collected materials for a history of the Franciscans in Ireland, which he wrote during a prolonged visit to Louvain between November 1617 and May 1618. His manuscript, which served as the chief source of information about the Irish province used by Luke Wadding (qv) in his Annales Minorum, remained unpublished till 1934, when it was edited for the Irish Manuscripts Commission by Brendan Jennings (1883–1970). In 1618, at the end of his term as provincial, Mooney became guardian of the Franciscan house in Drogheda, where he became involved in an acrimonious and divisive dispute with the Jesuits and the vicar general of Armagh, Balthazar Delahoyde, under whose patronage a Jesuit soldality was established in 1619 in competition with the existing confraternities of the Franciscans and Dominicans.
Formal complaints and two attempts at arbitration proved fruitless and were followed, in October 1622, by accusations of heresy against a Franciscan preacher and the wrecking of the Dominican oratory by Delahoyde's clerical nephew. A newly built Franciscan oratory was interdicted in December, Mooney's leading lay supporters were excommunicated, and, as part of a proposed settlement, he himself was required to distance himself from the town. He did not do so, and it was in Drogheda that he died before 20 April 1624.