Welcome to the Irish Augustinians
Tel: +353 (01) 4851516
I was born in the heart of the Deise in Waterford city. My Mum and Dad were Waterford people, and we had a grocery shop there. My Mum largely ran the business, which meant my Father was really a stay at home dad, walking us to and from school, cooking and so on. I was there for all my primary school years and have the fondest memories of those days attending school under the watchful eye of the De La Salle Brothers. They were wonderful men. I also moved from secondary school to the De La Salle College in Waterford, but my parents made the first of many moves, and we moved to Clonmel.
The call of the Deise was strong, and we moved back to Waterford, Tramore, after a relatively short time. I love Tramore and feel it is very much my home. I have a sister and a brother living there with their families. My youngest brother lives next door in County Wexford.
After secondary school, I trained as a primary school teacher in Saint Pat’s in Dublin. I decided while there to join a Religious Order. I saw an ad in the Sunday World for the Augustinians. I knew no Religious Order at this stage, so, with the prompting of my sister, who knew the Augustinians in Dungarvan, I decided to “give it a try.” Honestly, that was my attitude, and I thought I’d be home within a few months and ready to start a career as a Primary teacher. I thought I wanted to be a priest, and I knew I wanted to be in an Order as I perceived the diocesan life to be rather lonely. It was not to be so. I went to the novitiate in Orlagh and never looked back. I studied Philosophy at the Milltown Institute and studied Theology in Rome, the most rewarding years of my life!
Although I asked not to go to one of our schools, I was asked to train as a school chaplain in Mater Dei and do the H. Dip in Education in Maynooth. I then moved to New Ross, in County Wexford, to one of our two Boarding schools. As well as teaching there, I was in charge of the boarders. Despite my misgivings, I lived for twenty happy years there both as teacher and Principal of the College. I lived with such wonderful friars as the late Father Jackie Power OSA and Fr. Pat Codd OSA, who were such role models and great support to me in fulfilling a very daunting task.
In 2013 I was elected to serve as Provincial of the Irish Province. This has been an exciting and challenging job too. In March of this year, I return to the ranks of the friars, and I am glad to do so. My successor Tony Egan OSA will assume the office in March, and I wish him every success and blessing in the role.