Former Bishop of Derry, advocate for education and emigrants, dies aged 79


Rev Séamus Hegarty passed away after an illness in Letterkenny University Hospital, Co Donegal.

He served this diocese from 1994 -2011 and retired after announcing he was diagnosed with a condition which was “irreversible and progressive”.


Prior to that, Rev Hegarty was ordained Bishop of Raphoe in 1982.

Church leaders in Ireland have been paying tribute to him.

Archbishop Eamon Martin honoured Rev Hegarty as a leader who passionate about his advocacy on education and emigrants.

“Bishop Hegarty often intervened at conference meetings to draw attention to the personal, social and economic challenges facing emigrants, and he supported efforts to raise vital funds for the mission to those who face challenges far from home,” he said.

During the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon also reflected on his personal relationship with Rev Hegarty.

“I am grateful to Bishop Séamus for his encouragement and support to me as my bishop in Derry from 1994 until his retirement in 2011.  He was unstinting in his support for my role as teacher and President of Saint Columb’s College. 

“Having been a school principal himself for many years, he was passionate about the importance of education for young people and he had a strong awareness of the issues facing school staff and managers.

“He worked tirelessly to secure the new school sites for girls’…

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