ONE of Ireland's most-respected theologians has regained consciousness after being in a coma for a fortnight following a freak traffic accident in Rome.
Jesuit Fr Bart Kiely (70), a friend of former President Mary McAleese, has been Professor Emeritus at Rome's prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University.
He suffered a suspected brain haemorrhage after striking his head on the roadway when he was knocked down in traffic while walking on November 13.
Fr Kiely has now regained consciousness in San Filippo Hospital where he had been in a medically induced coma.
While he is as yet unable to talk, he is able to understand what is spoken to him in English.
Despite having lived in Italy for decades, he is apparently unable to understand Italian.
The native of Mallow, Co Cork, has been based in Rome for years.
He has maintained strong links to Ireland and is a regular visitor to Dublin and Cork.