Death of Bishop James Kavanagh, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin

08 Aug 2002

Death of Bishop James Kavanagh, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin

The retired Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, Dr James Kavanagh, died this morning.He was 88 years of age.

The full text of the News Release from the Communications Office for the Archdiocese of Dublin follows:

Further information is available from Fr Damian McNeice at (01) 836 0723 or (086) 8154544

   Bishop James Kavanagh 1914-2002 RIP

The retired Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, James Kavanagh D.D., died peacefully in the early hours of this morning at Sybil Hill Nursing Home, Raheny. He was 88 years of age. Upon hearing of his passing, the Archbishop of Dublin, Cardinal Desmond Connell said: “It is with the deepest regret that I have been informed of the death of Bishop James Kavanagh. He was my devoted brother in the episcopate, my friend and constant support. By his pastoral charity he was beloved of the priests, religious and people of the diocese – a good and faithful servant now called to enter into the joy of the Lord. May he receive the fullness of eternal life in the love and mercy of the Master he served so well.”

Bishop Kavanagh is survived by his brother Fr Mark Kavanagh of the Columban Fathers, his sisters, brother -in-law, nephews and nieces and many friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reception of remains at 5pm. Friday 9th August at the Church of the Holy Child, Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9.

Requiem Mass 11am Monday 12th August at the Church of the Holy Child, Swords Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9, with burial afterwards in Glasnevin cemetery.

Biographical notes on the late Bishop James Kavanagh R.I.P.

James Kavanagh was born on 3rd March 1914. His family lived on the North Circular Road and he attended the National School, William St., Laurence O’Toole’s C.B.S. and from 1928-32, O’Connell Schools. He was awarded a First Class Scholarship on the Intermediate Certificate, a University Scholarship on the Leaving Certificate, and was an Entrance Scholar to U.C.D.

  • 1932 Entered the diocesan seminary, Holy Cross College, Clonliffe.
  • 1935 First Class Honours and the Pierce Malone Scholarship in the B.A. Examination
  • at U.C.D.
  • 1939 Ordained priest and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
  • 1939-1941 Professor of Philosophy at St. Patrick’s Missionary College, Kiltegan.
  • 1942-1945 Army Chaplain at Clancy Barracks, Dublin.
  • 1945-1947 Campion Hall, Oxford, where he obtained the Diploma in Economics and
  • Political Science with Distinction.
  • 1947-1949 Curate in Crumlin parish.
  • 1949-1951 Curate in Westland Row parish.
  • 1951-54   First Director of the Dublin Institute of Adult Education, Eccles St.
  • 1954-1956 Christ College Cambridge ,M.A. (Hons.) in Economics.
  • 1956-73   Lecturer at University College Dublin – appointed Professor of Social
  • Science in 1966.
  • 1973      Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin on 12th March; ordained Titular
  • Bishop of Zerta on 8th April.
  • 1976-1980 Parish Priest of Larkhill/Whitehall parish

Even though he retired as Auxiliary Bishop when he reached the age of 77 in 1991, Bishop Kavanagh remained active in the diocese celebrating Confirmations until 1998 and attending various meetings including those of the Dublin Diocese Council of priests of which he was a former Chairman and the Dublin Metropolitan Chapter of which he was Dean from 1973 to 1999.

He had many links with the Trade Union Movement. His book, “A Manual of Social Ethics” was widely used in schools and colleges. He was a respected and sought after arbiter in many industrial disputes, hunger strikes and hostage situations.

Bishop Kavanagh had a deep love of sport. He captained the O’Connell’s Schools’ Senior Hurling Team. He played hurling for the Dublin minors. At soccer, he played inside right. Whilst pursuing post-graduate studies at Oxford in the 1940’s he played for Jesus College the year they won the Oxford League. In the last match of that series he scored three of the goals in his team’s 4-3 win. He continued his interest in soccer by being Vice President of Home Farm A.F.C. in the 1970’s.

He regularly enjoyed golf, often at Portmarnock, and established the James Kavanagh Shield Competition for the Annual golf outing of priests of the Dublin Diocese. He had a keen interest in the Irish language, spending many holidays in the Ballyferriter Gaeltacht.

For further information please contact:
Fr Damian McNeice at 01-8360723 or 086-8154544