| 21.3°C Dublin

Brady 'was a great teacher, very inspiring'

A NATIVE of Laragh in the Diocese of Kilmore, Sean Brady was born in August 1939. He was educated at Caulfield National School in Laragh before going to St Patrick's College, Cavan.

Deciding early to become a priest, he went to St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and then the Irish College, Rome, where he was ordained in February 1964. He received his doctorate in canon law at the Lateran University in 1967.

After completing his doctorate, he returned to his native Cavan after he was appointed professor in St Patrick's College, where he would leave an indelible mark on students.

He taught French, Latin, Commerce and Religion, but it was his role as the manager of the college's gaelic football teams which endeared him to the pupils there.

He was passionate about the sport, but never managed to take his side to MacRory Cup success -- the holy grail in colleges football in Ulster.

One past pupil described him as "totally dedicated" to everything he did.

"He was a great teacher and was very inspiring. So many of his pupils went on to achieve huge success in their chosen fields. He was a good man," he added.

In 1980 Father Brady was appointed vice rector of the Irish College, Rome, and in 1987 he was promoted to rector of the college.

He returned home to Cavan again in 1993 when he was appointed parish priest of Castletara.

To the surprise of many within the church, on February 19, 1995 he was ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh -- a post guaranteeing that he would succeed Cardinal Cahal Daly. Eighteen months later, he was installed as the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

He was appointed cardinal a year later when he was promoted once again by Pope Benedict.

Irish Independent