Fr Peter Kenney Day 2023 celebrated in glorious sunshine | Clongowes Wood

Posted: 26th June 2023

Dr Pat McCarthy, Joe Rooney & Antoinette Kelly

Dr Pat McCarthy, Joe Rooney & Antoinette Kelly.

As we conclude the 209th Academic year since the foundation of Clongowes Wood College 100+ Old Clongownians and their guests took the opportunity to revisit the college on June 14th.  This annual event which celebrates the founding of the College by Fr Peter Kenney in 1814 is open to all OCs who have left Clongowes 40 years or more.

The day commenced at 10am with an opportunity for all attendees to meet and mingle in the concourse before proceeding to the Boys’ Chapel.  Mass was celebrated by Fr Rector Michael Sheil S.J. accompanied by Fr Kevin Casey S.J.  Hugo O’Donnell OC’19 added wonderfully to the celebration with his marvellous singing.

Following the Mass, the Peoples Church was the venue for an enlightening talk by Dr Pat McCarthy who gave those present the benefit of his learning, wisdom, and insight into Old Clongownian Thomas Francis Meagher OC 1839 – ‘Irish Rebel and American General: A Thomas Francis Meagher Miscellany’.

2023 marks the 175th anniversary of the first flying of the Irish flag on 7th March 1848 when Meagher flew a Tricolour flag at the Wolfe Tone Club in Waterford City.  Dr McCarthy treated the audience to an entertaining discussion on Meagher and his journey from Clongownian, to rebellion, to government in Montana.  Of particular interest to those present was an examination of Meagher’s participation in the American Civil War and his reputation in the context of the happenings at the time.  Those present also had the opportunity to ask questions to delve deeper into the many facets of Meagher’s character and his fascinating life story.

Joe Rooney (Chair of Fundraising at Clongowes Foundation) thanked all who attended the day and highlighted how important it is for OCs to maintain a connection with the College.  Clongowes as a community is always changing with the most recent broadening of access through the AHP Bursary Programme an example of how Clongowes is constantly evolving.  Positive developments like this which are often driven and supported by OCs are a trademark of Clongowes and the have helped ensure the success of the college through the years.

All guests then enjoyed a delicious lunch in the Refectory prepared by the Catering Dept who excelled as usual in their endeavours.  We look forward to Fr Peter Kenney Day 2024.

Fr Peter Kenney Day is organised by the Clongowes Foundation on behalf of Fr Rector Michael Sheil S.J. OC’56

For photos of the day please click here


For further information about this event please contact Clongowes Foundation 045 902334/


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