Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

County Carlow Obituaries
Bishop Patrick Lennon


Bishop Patrick Lennon

The tragic death in a car accident of Bishop Patrick Lennon, retired bishop of Kildare and Leighlin on January 12, 1990, shocked members of the Old Carlow Society, of which he was patron, and the whole community.

Bishop Lennon was born at Borris, Co. Carlow, on June 22, 1914. He studied for the priesthood at Maynooth College where he was ordained on June 18, 1938. Continuing his studies for a further two years, he obtained a doctorate in divinity with a thesis on the Eucharist.

He was appointed on the teaching staff of St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, in 1940, where he remained for 26 years, the last ten years as president.

On July 3, 1966 he was ordained Titular Bishop of Vina and Auxiliary to Bishop Keogh and P.P. of Mountmellick. On Bishop Keogh’s retirement, he was appointed to rule the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin on September 25, 1967, continuing to do so until his own retirement on December 10, 1987.

The unusually large attendance of church and civic dignitaries, together with representatives from the parishes of the diocese at the Requiem Mass, spoke louder than words the esteem in which Bishop Patrick Lennon was held.

It was a sad commentary on our times that the obsequies of such a man should be marred by a bomb scare.

The late Cardinal Tomás O Fiaich summed up the character of Bishop Lennon in the opening paragraphs of a tribute which he penned for The Nationalist & Leinster Times:

“When I got word of Bishop Paddy Lennon’s death in such tragic circumstances, it was his great human qualities that immediately came to my mind.  “'Think of someone you’ve met who more richly deserved the title of gentleman,’ I said to myself by way of a challenge, and I had to give up.”

Source: Carloviana 1990/1991 No. 38

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