Fr Hugh Connolly appointed President of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

10 Aug 2007


10th August 2007

Fr Hugh Connolly appointed President of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

The Trustees of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, have announced the appointment of the Reverend Professor Hugh Connolly as President of the College. Fr Connolly is a priest of the Diocese of Dromore and is currently Professor of Moral Theology at Maynooth where he has been Vice-President since 1999. He will take up office on 1 September next. Fr Connolly replaces Monsignor Dermot Farrell who, after completing two terms as President, has been appointed as the new Parish Priest of Dunboyne, Co Meath.

St Patrick’s College Maynooth comprises the Pontifical University and the National Seminary.

Born in September 1961, Fr Connolly is a native of Burren near Warrenpoint, Co Down where his sister, Rosemary, runs a well known solicitor’s practice. He is a former student of Abbey Christian Brothers School, Newry. Fr Connolly was ordained in Maynooth in June, 1987, and successfully completed Licentiate and Doctoral Studies in moral theology at the Gregorian University, Rome in 1991.

Fr Connolly has authored a book, published in 1995, on the Irish Penitentials and in 2002 published the volume Sin in the New Century Theology series. Between 2001 and 2006 he was the Registrar of the Pontifical University Maynooth. Fr Connolly was Executive Secretary of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1991 to1997.

On his appointment Fr Connolly said: “I am grateful to the Trustees of St Patrick’s Maynooth for placing their faith and trust in me. I am humbled by this appointment. While it is an honour it is most definitely also a challenging job. In carrying out my responsibilities, I look forward to the support of the students and staff of the College, and indeed from all those with a love for the Church and her mission in the formation of future lay and ordained leaders.

“I would like to avail of this opportunity to ask the faithful to continue to pray for vocations. Specifically, I wish to ask young people, whether leaving school, college or at whatever stage of life, to consider a training in the service of the Gospel. A vocation is a calling from God that needs to be discerned and carefully nurtured during the time of formation. At Maynooth we offer a high quality combination of human, spiritual, academic and pastoral formation to seminarians and lay students alike.”

Monsignor Dermot Farrell, is a native of Castletown-Geoghegan, County Westmeath. He was educated at St Finian’s College, Mullingar and Maynooth College. Ordained in 1980, he undertook post graduate studies at Maynooth before appointment as curate in Mullingar in 1981. In 1985 he went to Rome to complete his doctorate at the Gregorian University while also serving on the staff of the Pontifical Irish College. On his return to the Diocese in 1988 he was appointed curate in Tullamore. In 1990 he was appointed by the Trustees to the Faculty of Theology at Maynooth. Three years later he was appointed Vice-President and in 1996 President. During his tenure, Mgr Farrell presided over a thorough revision of the formation programme in the light of Pastores Dabo Vobis as well as overseeing the major reconstruction and renovation of all Maynooth College’s heritage buildings.


Notes to Editors

    * An electronic photo of Fr Connolly is available from the Catholic Communications Office on (01) 505 3017.
    * St Patrick’s College Maynooth is the National Seminary for Ireland and has been forming men for the priesthood since 1795. Since 1895 it has been a Pontifical University offering degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level in theology and philosophy. It also offers an undergraduate programme in Theology & Arts in partnership with the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
    * The Trustees of the College are the Governing Body of the College. The membership is defined by successive Acts of Parliament. The current Trustees are the four Archbishops together with 13 other senior bishops.
    * There are currently 400 students studying in the Pontifical University and the Seminary, these comprise 330 lay students and 70 seminarians.

Further information:
Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)