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Priest appointed principal at prestigious Killaloe diocesan school

By Sean Ryan - 10 June, 2017

One of the country’s most famous diocesan schools has appointed a priest to succeed a lay person as its new principal.

The Bishop of Killaloe Bishop Fintan Monahan has appointed Fr Ignatius McCormack as principal of St Flannan’s Diocesan College in Ennis, Co. Clare following approval by the College Trustees earlier this week.

The appointment takes effect on 1 September 2017, when the current principal Ms Carmel Honan takes up a new appointment as principal of Glenstal Abbey School in Murroe, Co. Limerick.

Announcing the appointment, Bishop Monahan said: “I wish to express gratitude to the outgoing principal Ms Carmel Honan for her service to the school community over 27 years including the last 5 years as principal. I wish her every blessing in her future career. I am deeply grateful to Fr Ignatius for agreeing to take on this challenging and important task in our diocese. As a diocese we are deeply committed to the principles of Catholic education and I know that Fr Ignatius will work tirelessly to build upon the great tradition of St Flannan’s College, creating a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit of freedom and charity.”

Fr Ignatius McCormack, who is also vocations director for the Killaloe diocese and administrator of Quin parish, said he was delighted with his new appointment.

He added: “I am humbled by the confidence that Bishop Monahan has placed in me by this appointment. Having spent the last 16 years on the staff of St Flannan’s College, I have a deep respect for the tremendous commitment that my colleagues show to the care and development of our young people. I look forward to working closely with them in building upon the long tradition of excellence in education that is at the heart of St Flannan’s.”

A native of Co. Offaly, Fr Ignatius entered St Patrick’s College Maynooth and received a BA in Geography and Classics in 1993. Awarded a BD by the Pontifical University in Maynooth in 1996, he completed his Higher Diploma in Pastoral Studies in 1997.

Fr Ignatius was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Killaloe by Bishop Willie Walsh on 7 June 1997 in his native parish of Kilcolman. His first appointment was as curate in the parish of Toomevara, Co. Tipperary, where he ministered until the year 2000. From 2000 to 2001 he studied for the Higher Diploma in Education at Trinity College Dublin while teaching at Loreto College on St Stephen’s Green.

Since 2001, Fr Ignatius has served on the staff of St Flannan’s College – as Dean of Studies from 2001 to 2005 and on the teaching staff since 2005.

St Flannan’s College was founded in 1881 as a diocesan college for the diocese of Killaloe. Today it is a co-educational secondary school with over 1,200 pupils and over 80 teachers. It has a long tradition of academic excellence as well as a great reputation for achievements in sport, particularly hurling, and other extra-curricular activities. The current President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins is among its past pupils.

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