Bishop Séamus Hegarty

Bishop_HegartyBishop Séamus Hegarty

Bishop of Raphoe: 1982-1994


Bishop Seamus Hegarty was born in Kilcar, Co Donegal, in 1940. He has one brother, Dermot, and one sister, Maire.  He received his education in Kilcar N.S. , St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny and St Patrick's College, Maynooth (1959-'66).  He graduated in Celtic Studies and is fluent in Irish, English and German.  He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop McQuaid in St Patrick's College, Maynooth in 1966.   He taught in Colaiste na Croise Noafa, Falcarragh, and later became President (1971-1981). He carried through the establishment of Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola in 1973, becoming its first Principal, and with his staff he made it a successful school.  After a short period as curate in Stranorlar he was made bishop in 1982, being ordained by Cardinal Ó Fiaich in March 1982 in Letterkenny Cathedral.


He began a mission of Raphoe priests to Lima in Peru in 1986.Bishop_Hegarty_crest


He carried to completion the Church of the Irish Martyrs, Letterkenny in 1994, a project initiated by Bishop MacFeely. He set up a House of Prayer in Drumkeen and encouraged the setting up of Blessed Sacrament adoration chapels.


Bishop Hegarty was a member of the Bishop’s Emigration Commission, regularly visiting Irish and Donegal emigrant groups in Britain and the United States and was largely instrumental in setting up an  emigrant mission in Munich. As a member of this commission and as a northern bishop, he could not but be concerned about the ‘Troubles’ and his voice was heard clearly and courageously in condemnation of abuses of the law and atrocities.


In 1994 Bishop Hegarty was appointed Bishop of Derry to succeed Bishop Edward Daly, who had retired due to ill health.


Bishop Hegarty retired as Bishop of Derry in 2011 due to ill health.


Information from 'The Raphoe Diocese, a brief History' by Fr John J. Silke, 2000