St Kieran's College
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|St Kieran's College
The Winter Has Passed
Republic of Ireland
|Religious affiliation(s)||Roman Catholic|
|President||Rev. Dr Dermot Ryan|
|Principal||Mr. John Curtis|
- 1 History
- 2 Seminary
- 3 Present day education
- 4 Adult Education
- 5 Extra services
- 6 Activities
- 7 School crest and motto
- 8 People Associated with the College
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Saint Kieran's College was founded in Kilkenny, in the diocese of Ossory in 1782, after the passing of the Relief Act of 1782. This act enabled Catholics to found schools (with the consent of the Protestant bishop of the diocese) for the first time since the Irish penal laws were introduced. Prior to this only Protestants could found educational institutions. Saint Kieran's College was founded as the diocesan school and was the first of its kind in the country.
The school's motto is “Hiems Transiit,” Latin for “The Winter Has Passed,” It is a metaphor for the repeal of the penal laws which had kept Catholics as second class citizens in Ireland. It is taken from chapter 2 verse 11 of the Song of Solomon book of the bible:
|“||"My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone."||”|
The saint after which the school was named was Saint Kieran Saighir, "first-born of the saints of Ireland" (Primogenitus Sanctorum Hiberniae).
By the 1790s upheaval on the continent led to the demand for the provision of education for priests at home and in 1792 the college opened its doors to students of philosophy and theology, the first college in Ireland to do so.
The first location of the college was at Burrell's Hall, James Street, Kilkenny, which is now the location of Saint Mary's Cathedral (the seat of the Bishop of Ossory) and the CBS secondary school. It was later moved to the present location of the Loreto Convent Girls' Secondary School on the Granges Road, Kilkenny. In 1814 the Birchfield Estate was purchased for ecclesiastical students for St Kyran’s College with the name Birchfield College also being used, the college was at Birchfield until 1838 when the estate was bought by the Smithwick family. Between 1811 and 1845 a new permanent building was constructed on what is now called College Road. The architect of the school was William Deane Butler who also designed Saint Mary's Cathedral; he was assisted by George Ashlin. The tower which rises from the centre of the cathedral was actually originally intended for the college. Some distinguishing features of the building include the Clock Tower, the Chapel and the Glass-Hall. The college chapel contains some stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke which have recently undergone restoration. Fundraising has begun for maintenance and restoration work on Pipe Organ in the College Chapel which dates from the 1800s.
As well as teaching lay students St. Kieran's was a minor and major seminary. In 1793 courses in philosophy and theology were added, previously only humanities were taught. As it was located in Birchfield, the seminary for a time was known as Birchfield College and would have had a President and professors of Philosophy and Theology. As a seminary the college educated many priests who went on to be ordained to serve in Ireland and abroad(some 600 in the United States). Unlike Maynooth College St. Kieran's was not supported by the British government financially. During the 19th century following the example of St. Patrick's College, Carlow students were able to sit degree examinations for the University of London, where the name of the college was sometimes misspelled as St. Kyrans. In 1982 the College celebrated its bicentenary with over 200 priests from around the world attending. In 1994, with the approval of the authorities in the seminary and all the priests of the diocese, a decision was made by Bishop Forristal to close the seminary in St Kieran's College after 212 years. The closure was due to the dramatic fall in vocations to the priesthood.
Present day education
The College had originally catered for seminarians and boarding students but eventually day students were allowed to attend. This led to the abolishment of a five-days-a-week class structure and the introduction of the three day week school time. In 2003 it ceased boarding students and became solely a day-student secondary school. Over 700 students attend.
Adult faith formation
The College is the base for the diocesan adult religious education and faith formation office.
Kilkenny Campus (NUI Maynooth)
Since 1997 the Kilkenny Campus of NUI Maynooth, an outreach project of the university, has been housed in the west wing of the original college buildings. Two modular and inter-disciplinary part-time degree programmes (in Local Studies and in Community Studies) are offered, as well as a range of undergraduate certificates. In recent years postgraduate programmes for adult education practitioners have also been offered on a part-time basis.
Approximately 1,400 awards have been made by the university to students who took their courses in Kilkenny between 1997 and 2012.
In Sept 2013, the first full-time students registered at the campus for the First Year of their BA. This initiative offers students a chance to commence their studies locally, before transferring to the main campus in Maynooth for second and third year.
Graduation ceremonies now take place in Kilkenny Castle, in earlier years they took place in Maynooth.
ICT Research Centre
In February 2011 it was announced that a new ICT Research centre was to be established in St. Kierans, this is a partnership between Kilkenny County Council(Invest Kilkenny), Waterford Institute of Technology(Telecommunications Software and Systems Group) and the Institute of Technology, Carlow. it is on the campus in Burrell’s Hall it was officially opened on May 24, 2012 by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Saint Kieran's College also provides services and class-room usage for the "City Vocational School" and "Pobail Scoil Osraí"- the city's wholly Irish-speaking secondary school.
Also within the walls of Saint Kieran's College are the Diocesan Archives and the Carrigan Room. The Carrigan Room contains all of the documents and pictures collected by William Carrigan for his four-volume encyclopaedia on the history of the diocese. The archives also contain documents collected by Carrigan for an intended second edition. These were never used for that purpose after Carrigan died of Spanish Flu. The Kilkenny Archive a collection of papers of Kilkenny families and businesses, including the Wandesforde papers, the Aylward papers, the Smithwick papers, the Swift Heath papers and the Catherine Lanigan papers, is also stored at the College.
Saint Kieran's College is a noted hurling school, winning numerous cups and leagues. Other sports that the school partakes in are handball, gaelic football, soccer, basketball, equestrian trials, chess, swimming, golf, tennis, and rugby.
Other than sports, there are poetry workshops with a writer-in-residence, poet Mark Roper, has helped compile poetry broadsheets and advised people on the way to being published. Their own theatre/auditorium means the school always has a location for performances/readings.
Musical and Artistic Studies are also part of the school curriculum. The school also has a film-editing suite, which was used to complete a feature-length film about the Great Famine. This project was undertaken as part of a Schools Integration Project in Kilkenny. Farming and agriculture has always been a large part of Kilkenny's heritage and for the school as well. The farming facilities within the college's city campus have been removed but the school still retains areas of farmland in rural Kilkenny.
On 7th Of May 2009 the U-16 soccer team won the All-Ireland for the first time in the school's history.
School crest and motto
The motto of the school is “Hiems Transiit,” Latin for “The Winter Has Passed.” The school crest is the diocese’s crest emblazoned on a Celtic Cross. The coat of arms of the diocese has a representation of St. Kieran between two pillars. It appears on Episcopal arms from the 18th century and on a beautiful book plate of Archbishop Troy as well as the college crest.
People Associated with the College
As a seminary the college trained many priests for ministry in Ireland and abroad. Patrick Kelly Bishop of Richmond taught at the college (then known as Birchfield) and also served as president. Thomas MacDonagh the 1916 leader was a teacher in the school from 1901 to 1903, as was Francis Sheehy Skeffington from 1900 to 1901 and John Wilson former Tánaiste was a teacher in the school from 1957 to 1950.
Notable students to have attended the school include Wisconsin statesman Michael Egan, actor Ralph Fiennes, filmmaker and animator Tomm Moore, economist Raymond Crotty, and members of Kerbdog. Patrick Neary, who resigned as Chief Executive of the Financial Regulator, following the collapse of Anglo Irish Bank, was educated at the school. Minister of the Environment Phil Hogan TD was also a former student. Peter Whelan OSM, army chaplain during the American Civil war attended what was then called Birchfield College as St. Kieran's was called then. Dr. Richard Phelan Bishop of Pitsburg studied at St. Kieran's before going to seminary in the United States, also Rev. Dr. Patrick Collier, Bishop of Ossory attended the college. Bishop James Whyte of Dunedin, New Zealand trained in St. Kieran's. Bishop William J. McDonald american bishop and Rector of the Catholic University of America, trained at St. Kierans's. Several members of the band Engine Alley attended the school and guitarist Brian Kenealy would go on to use the school's motto as the title of his second solo album Hiems Transiit.
Presidents of St. Kieran's College
- Rev. Lawrence Reynolds (1817)
- Rev. Nicholas Sherman (1817-1829)
- Rev. Gerald Foley (1829-1832) and (1836-1838)
- Rev. Edward Aylward (1838) - President of Ecclesiastical Seminary
- Rev. Edward Nolan (1838-1839) - President of Lay Seminary
- Rev. Edward Nowlan, (1839-1842)
- Rev. James Ryan (1842-1843)
- Rev. Ed. McDonald (1853-1873)
- Rev. Nicholas Murphy (1873-1875)
- Rev. Patrick Murphy (1875-1885)
- Rev. Michael Barry (1885-1894)
- Rev. James Doyle (1894-1901)
- Rev. John Doody (1903-1911)
- Rev. Cornelius McNamara (1911-1919)
- Rev. Dr. Patrick Collier (1925-1928)
- Rev. Martin Joseph Campion
- Mgr. Michael Ryan
- Mgr. Jim Cassin (19??-2005)
- Mgr. Kieron Kennedy (2005-2012)
- Rev. Dr Dermot Ryan (2013- )
- StKieransCollege.ie - History/
- The Case for Maynooth published by St. Patrick's College.
- St. Kierans' College - Irish priests in the United States: a vanishing subculture By William L. Smith.
- University of London - The Historical Record (1830-1912) Published by University of London Press, 1912.
- SPCM Certificate in Theological Studies NUIM Kilkenny Campus
- Cardinal Brady’s address at graduation in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, 19 November 2011.
-  Kilkenny Campus website
- Taoiseach Opens Kilkenny Research Centre WIT Website, 24 May 2012.
- Kilkenny Research and innovation centre opens Silicon Republic, 24th May 2012.
- Canon William Carrigan, Historian of Ossory, Later Life and Legacy Ask About Ireland Website.
- Group seeks council help in preserving Kilkenny’s past Kilkenny People, Monday 17 October 2011.
- Kilkenny Archives secure new headquarters Kilkenny Advertiser, October 21, 2011.
- Irish Independent - Eyes on watchdog - August 16 2008
- Irish Independent - Engine man has power - June 14 2013