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The Tablet was founded by Patrick Moran, the first Catholic bishop of Dunedin. Moran was an articulate but vitriolic polemicist on behalf of Irish Catholics. His outspoken criticism of the government – over the secularisation of education, which he saw as part of an international conspiracy against the Church, and the failure to fund Catholic schools – attracted national attention but alienated many, including the majority of the press. The Tablet was established to provide him with an alternative means to express his views; Moran often edited the paper and was a regular contributor to it.

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