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Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich

Tomás Ó Fiaich was born in Anamar, near Cullyhanna in November 1923. He was educated at Cregganduff Public Elementary School (1928 - 1936), at St. Patrick's College Armagh, St. Patrick's College Maynooth and at St. Peter's College, Wexford. He was ordained Priest in St. Peter's College Wexford on 6 June 1948. After studying in University College Dublin, St. Anthony's College Louvain and a short time as curate in the Parish of Clonfeacle, Tomás returned to St. Patrick's Maynooth College to lecture in modern history. He rose from lecturer to Professor in 1959, to Vice-President and finally to President in 1974.

On 22 August 1977, Tomás Ó Fiaich was appointed Archbishop of Armagh. In June 1979 he was elevated to Cardinal and in the same year he welcomed Pope John Paul II, the first Pope to visit Ireland.

Tomás Ó Fiaich died on 8 May 1990, while leading a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France. He was buried in Armagh amid scenes of national grief for a man who all agreed had the common touch.

In 1991 the Creggan History Society produced a special memorial edition of its Journal "CREGGAN". In it, people from all parts of the country, and abroad, representing a wide spectrum of the community paid tribute to his humanity, humour and piety. With the kind permission of the Society we reproduce here some of these tributes.

Tributes & Recollections


The Cardinal's Coat of Arms - Image and explanation