Statement of Bishop Donal McKeown on the death of Bishop Séamus Hegarty RIP

21 Sep 2019

Following the death yesterday of Bishop Séamus Hegarty, Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry said, “even though Bishop Séamus Hegarty had been in declining health for a number of years, it was with sadness that I heard about his death.  As Bishop of Derry, he was the successor to Bishop Edward Daly, and Bishop Séamus served this diocese from 1994 -2011, although I was not appointed to the Diocese of Derry until 2014.  Bishop Séamus had an impressive dedication to his role as a priest and bishop, with a special expertise in education.  His concern for Irish emigrants around the world was constant and heartfelt.  Ar dheis De go raibh anam.”


  • Obituary of Bishop Séamus Hegarty RIP

Séamus Hegarty born 26 January 1940 in Kilcar, Co Donegal.  He received his early education in Kilcar National School, Saint Eunan’s College, Letterkenny, and Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, which he attended from 1959 to 1966.  He graduated in Celtic Studies and was fluent in Irish, English and German.  He was ordained to the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College on 19 June 1966.  He taught in Saint Eunan’s College and Colaiste na Croise Naofa, Falcarragh, where he later became President (1971–1981).

Prior to his appointment as bishop he served as curate in Stranorlar.  Bishops Séamus was appointed as Bishop of the Diocese of Raphoe on 12 February 1982.  His episcopal ordination took place at Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, on 28 March 1982.  Following the resignation of Bishop Edward Daly on 26 October 1993, Bishop Séamus was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Derry on 1 October 1994 and was installed at Saint Eugene’s Cathedral on 6 November 1994.

On 7 November 2011, Bishop Séamus issued a statement saying that, having been diagnosed with “a condition which is, unfortunately, irreversible and progressive”, he had submitted his resignation because he was no longer able to fulfil his role as diocesan bishop.   On 23 November 2011 the Holy See announced his resignation had been accepted.  May he rest in peace while he awaits the glory of the Resurrection.                                                    

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.