Andrew Fitzgerald

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Father Andrew Fitzgerald O.P, (November 30, 1763 – December 14, 1843) a native of Kilkenny, was a professor at St. Patrick's College, Carlow where he taught classics and was chair of divinity.

He was born in 1763 to James FitzGerald and Mary Fitzgerald (née Knarsborough) in High Street, Kilkenny City, he went to school in the Church of Ireland run Kilkenny College and at the age of 16 went to study in the University of Louvain becoming a Dominican friar. He also studied in Lisbon where he was awarded degree of master of arts, on 4 September 1788. He returned to Ireland in 1792, and with Rev. Patrick McGrath was in charge of St. Canice's Academy, Kilkenny. He joined the teaching staff at Carlow College on 1 March 1800.[1] At Carlow he taught classics, philosophy, theology and sacred scripture.

Amongst his students in Carlow was the Irish patriot James Fintan Lalor.

In 1810 Fitzgerlad, then professor of theology at Carlow College, invited the Presentation Sisters to set up a school for girls in Carlow, which they did in 1811.[2]

He succeeded Dr. Henry Staunton in 1814 to became president of the college, some years earlier he had left his teaching position being replaced by James Warren Doyle, in dispute with the college only to return soon afterwards.

In 1814 Rev. Andrew FitzGerald was appointed professor of sacred scripture in Maynooth College he declined to accept the office staying at Carlow.[3]

He was imprisoned during the Tithe War in 1832 for his refusal to pay tithes when he was president of the college.[4][5]

Fr. Fitzgerald proposed Nicholas Aylward Vigors MP in the election 1832, and again in 1835, in Carlow borough, seconded by a fellow anti-tithes campaigner the Quaker Thomas Haughton.[6]

The French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville who toured Ireland in 1835, commented that "Monseigneur Fitzgerald was a man of openly Catholic and democratic passions".[7]


  2. ^ Carlow Our Community - Presentation Sisters.
  3. ^ Maynooth College - It's Centenary History By Rev. John Healy, D.D., LLD., M.R.l.A.
  4. ^ Paul Cardinal Cullen and the shaping of modern Irish Catholicism By Desmond Bowen
  5. ^ Fr. James Maher[dead link]
  6. ^ Nicholas Vigors - General Election 1832 and 1835
  7. ^ Alexis de Tocqueville: Journey in Ireland (1835)