Who do you feel should be on this page? Let us know.

This month we feature Bishop Joseph Duffy Bishop of Clogher, Fr. Cornelius Tierney, Tom Fitzpatrick T.D., 2001Entrepreneur of the Year Martin Mc Vicar,World famous inventor, James J Drumm, Pauric Duffy Ard Stiúrthoir GAA, Rory McGowan structural engineer and Pat Mc Cabe writer.


Bishop Joseph Duffy

Born 3 February 1934 of Edward Duffy and Brigid MacEntee, Annagose, Newbliss, Co. Monaghan. Joseph Duffy was the eldest of three boys and one girl. He was educated at St Louis Infant School, Clones, Largy N.S., Clones, and in St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, where he was a boarder for five years 1946 - 1951. He studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and was ordained priest for the Diocese of Clogher on 22 June 1958. On 2 September 1979 he was ordained Bishop of Clogher.

After his ordination to the priesthood he continued his studies in Irish and completed a thesis on the dialect of South Tipperary for a Master’s degree in
the National University of Ireland in 1960. He then returned to St Macartan’s College and taught Irish and French there for twelve years. During these years he spent several sessions in French universities doing summer courses in French. He also worked at the pilgrimage shrine of Lough Derg in county Donegal and translated two books of the Old Testament, Amos and Ezekiel, for An Bíobla Gaeilge.

From 1972 to 1979 he was a curate in the parish of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh. This was a team ministry with three other curates and the parish priest, and included a chaplaincy to St Fanchea’s College for girls and part-time chaplaincy to the Erne Hospital. During these years he was involved in PACE (Protestant and Catholic Encounter) and served on the committee of the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society.

His special interest outside his formal duties has been the local history of the Diocese of Clogher. From 1963 to 1975 he was editor and frequent contributor to Clogher Record and since 1975 has been chairman of the Clogher Historical Society. In 1972 he published a popular work on St Patrick, Patrick in his own words, which was updated in a second edition in 2000.

As a member of the Bishops Conference he was spokesman from 1987 to 1993 and has been chairman of the Committee for European Affairs and delegate of the Conference on COMECE, the Commission of Bishops Conferences of the European Community, since 1983. He has also been a member of the Inter-Church meeting, chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and chairman of the Committee for the Sacred Art and Architecture.

From www.clogherdiocese.ie



St. Macartan’s College remembers past pupil and teacher who died at hands of Chinese Communists.

Cornelius Tierney was born in Clones in 1872. He became a student at St. Macartan’s College in 1888. In 1893 he entered St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, and was ordained in 1899. On his ordination, Fr. Tierney returned to St. Macartan’s College as bursar and teacher.  Between 1911 and 1917 Fr. Tierney was curate in Ballyshannon and in 1918, he joined the Society of St. Columban, generally known then as the Maynooth Mission to China.

Fr. Tierney travelled to China with 16 others priests in 1920, for the next decade  he worked with local people and his fellow Columbans as a missionary to the then civil war torn people of China. At 6.00 a.m. on a cold November morning as he was about to celebrate Mass at the  Shang Tang Hsu mission station, ,near Kien Chang, Fr. Tierney was arrested by a communist gang who had just taken over the local area. Ill-treated by his Communist captors a ransom of $10,000 was demanded for Fr. Tierney’s release. This demand later increased to €50,000. With no hope of the ransom been paid, his last letter to a friend included in the conclusion reference to the St. Macartan’s College motto. Ora Deum et omnes sanctos pro me ut fortis et fidelis sim (Pray to God and all the saints that I may be strong and faithful.)

Fr. Tierney died at the hands of his captors in the purple mountains of Central China on February 28th 1931. The 80th anniversary of his death will be remembered as part of the schools St. Macartan’s Day celebrations in 2011.

Christmas cards made by people with special needs and working for the Columban Crafts Project in China will be sold in the school this year to mark the St. Macartan’s College association with the Columban mission to China and the part played by Fr. Tierney and another almost 30 past pupils of St. Macartan’s College in bringing Christianity to China


Paraic Duffy Ard Stiúrthoir G.A.A.

Past pupil, former teacher and Principal of St. Macartan’s College Paraic Duffy succeeded Liam Mulvihill as Ard Stiúrthóir (Director General ) of the GAA in February 2008.

Mr Duffy was previously the GAA’s Player Welfare Manager and joined the Association as a full time administrator on January 1st of 2007. Paraic was a former Chairman of the Monaghan County Board, he has chaired many central GAA Committees. He was Chairman of the National Audit Committee (2006), the Coaching & Games Development Committee (2003 -2006) and the Games Administration Committee (2000 – 2003)

 Paraic’s playing club was Castleblaney Faughs, with whom he also gained his first administrative experience in the GAA. After moving to North Monaghan, Pauric joined the Scotstown club. He was a selector on the successful Monaghan senior football team from 1983 to 1987 and was the International Rules Tour Manager in Australia in 2001. He has also been involved with underage coaching at all levels including Ulster Colleges. During his time in St. Macartan’s Pauric coached at every age group from Dalton Cup to Mac Rory Cup levels.

St. Macartan’s College will remember Mr. Duffy as an outstanding teacher of History and Career Guidance. As the first lay Principal of St. Macartan’s College, Mr. Duffy will also be remembered as the person who led the school safely through one of the most profound periods of change in Irish education.


Tom Fitzpatrick T.D.

Tom Fitzpatrick was born in Scotshouse Co. Monaghan and attended St. Macartan’s College between 1931 and 1936. After leaving St. Macartan’s he attended the Incorporated Law Society and UCD where he qualified as a solicitor.

Tom Fitzpatrick was elected to Seanad Éireann in 1961 and subsequently to Dáil Éireann at the 1965 general election as a T.D. for the Cavan constituency. Deputy Fitzpatrick served as opposition spokesman for Defence, Health and Social Welfare, Justice and the Environment.

Tom Fitzpatrick served in government under Liam Cosgrave and Garret Fitzgerald and he was also elected as Ceann Comhairle for one Dáil term. Tom Fitzpatrick retired from politics in 1989 and returned to St. Macartan’s for the 150 anniversary celebrations in 1990. Tom Fitzpatrick died in 2006.Read an appreciation by Enda Kenny T.D.

 Martin Mc Vicar 


Martin Mc Vicar left St. Macartan's in 1989 and after college he took up full-time employment with Moffett Engineering Ltd, the manufacturer of the truck-mounted forklift, and held various roles in the company from Draughtsman to Engineering Manager to Research & Development Manager.  After eight years, Martin left Moffett Engineering and set up Combilift Ltd to manufacture industrial, four-directional forklift trucks, with Robert Moffett (Technical Director) in 1998. The company now employs 150 people in Monaghan and exports 94% of its products to more than 40 countries worldwide.  9% of the firm's annual turnover is invested in R&D and the company has established its own dedicated R&D facility.           

Martin was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001 while the company was awarded DHL Exporter of the Year in that year. Combilift Ltd was also awarded the 2005 Design Achievement Award from the Fork Lift Truck Association in the UK. Martin served as a member of the Enterprise Strategy Group and assisted in the preparation of the 2004 Enterprise Strategy Report, suggesting what measures Ireland should implement to continue its exceptional growth over the next ten years.

Martin regularly returns to St. Macartan's to meet students and help them with enterprise projects.


Dr. James J. Drumm


Dr. James J. Drumm, inventor of the "Drumm" Traction Battery was born in 1897 at Dundrum, Co. Down. He received his primary education at the National School there where his mother taught, and his secondary education at St. Macartan's College, Monaghan (1909 - 1914). It was there he won a coveted County Council Scholarship which allowed him enter the Chemistry School of University College, Dublin under the late Professor Hugh Ryan in 1914.

Dr. Drumm graduated with an Honours B.Sc. Degree in 1917. In the following year he obtained the M.Sc. degree by research. He then spent three years with the "Continuous Reaction Company" in England and returned to Dublin in 1922 to work as a research and production chemist with "Fine Chemicals Ltd.".

In conjunction with the late Professor James Bayley-Butler of U.C.D., Drumm carried out work on the canning of peas with the idea of preserving their green colour. Up to that time canned peas lost their fresh colour and looked rather uninviting. Drumm's work laid the foundation of modern methods of processing.

Drumm's best known researches were concerned with the electric storage battery which bears his name. The origin of his interest in batteries is little known and came about in the following way. In 1925 after attending a lecture about hydrogen ions where the quinhydrone electrode was discussed, Drumm suggested that the quinhydrone electrode could be used in a cell to produce current. Drumm experimented with various substituted quinhydrones and found that, though the cell could be charged and discharged rapidly, however the battery life was short because of the intractable tars produced by the oxidation of the quinhydrone. Drumm then abandoned this type of cell and turned his attention to the alkaline cell.


Rory Mc Gowan.


Rory Mc Gowan left St. Macartan’s in 1981 and studied engineering in college. He has worken on numerous projects around the world and since he joined his current company Arup, he worked on several multi-disciplinary building designs in Britain and Ireland and subsequently he designed and built bridges in Cameroon.

He became involved in the Kansai Airport Project as a project leader, including one year running the project office in Osaka, Japan. During 1994 he spent 8 months working in Tanzania for a rural development organisation providing engineering input into a social-anthropological study focusing on rural health.

Since then he has worked on many projects as Project Structural Engineer, Manager, and Director including projects in France, Hungary, Holland, Spain, Portugal, India, USA, China and the UK on a wide range of building types and sizes.

Rory was based in Beijing working on the CCTV project  Rory returned to St. Macartan’s in 2007 for his Leaving Cert class reunion and after 8 eas woirking in China he is back in Dublin working for Arup.


Pat Mc Cabe



Patrick McCabe was born in Clones in 1955. He entered St. Macartan's in 1967. One of his first parts on stage was as Lady Macbeth in a 1971 school production of  Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Pat Mc Cabe quailified as a teacher and later published a children’s story, The Adventures of Shay Mouse (Dublin, Raven Arts Press, 1985), and five adult novels: Music On Clinton Street (Raven, 1986); Carna (London, Aidan Ellis, 1989); The Butcher Boy (London, Picador, 1992), which was the winner of The Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literature Prize 1992, and was shortlisted for the 1992 Booker Prize; The Dead School (Picador, 1995); Breakfast On Pluto (Picador 1998), which was shortlisted for the 1998 Booker Prize; Emerald Germs of Ireland (Picador, 2000); Call Me The Breeze (London, Faber and Faber, 2003); and Winterwood (London, Bloomsbury, 2006).

A collection of stories, Mondo Desperado, was published by Picador in 1999. He has broadcast stories on RTÉ and several plays were broadcast by RTÉ and the BBC. His play Frank Pig Says Hello, based on The Butcher Boy, was first performed at The Dublin Theatre Festival in 1992, and is included in Far from the Land: Contemporary Irish Plays (London, Methuen, 1998). The Butcher Boy was filmed by Neil Jordan in 1996.

A section of a television documentary based on his life was recorded recently in St. Macartan's and broadcast on RTE.