By Sean Ryan - 30 October, 2016
The vice president of the country’s largest Catholic third level institute has praised St Patrick’s College in Thurles, County Tipperary for its contribution in training second level teachers.
Last summer, Mary Immaculate College (MIC), based in Limerick City, took over the running of St Patrick’s College, which will continue to function as a teacher training campus.
St Patrick’s College, which dates back to 1837, has been synonymous with education for many years. It ceased to function as a seminary in 2002, having prepared over 1,500 men for the priesthood. The college reopened in 2008, offering second level teaching programmes which have been accredited by the University of Limerick since 2011.
Speaking at a recent graduation ceremony, Professor Eugene Wall (vice president, Academic Affairs, Mary Immaculate College) paid tribute to outgoing president of St Patrick’s College, Fr Tom Fogarty. Fr Fogarty had served as president of the college since May 2004, having been a lecturer in pastoral theology and vice president there from 1993 to 1995.
Addressing graduates, Professor Wall said that “Fr Tom’s leadership, dedication and expertise have helped to transform you, the graduates, into the skilled, competent, aware individuals that you are today.” He added, “As you enter into a world of economic and social insecurity be certain of this, your education and formation here will have put you in good stead to meet these and other challenges, for here you have been helped to play your role in creating a new knowledge society, but even more importantly a just society.”
His words were echoed by the Bishop of Limerick and chairman of An tÚdarás Rialaithe of Mary Immaculate College, Bishop Brendan Leahy. He said that MIC’s history is “now enriched by the educational, spiritual and cultural heritage associated with this hallowed place.”
He also said, “I want to acknowledge and pay tribute to former generations who are present to us today in the contemporaneity of the faith, not least the fine staff and students of the former St Patrick’s College, the people of the renowned town of Thurles, as well as the beloved archbishops and clergy of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly so warmly associated over many years with this beautiful campus.”
St Patrick’s College now offers four concurrent degree programmes leading to sought-after specialisations in subject areas that include Irish, religious studies, accounting and business studies.