Patrick Walsh (Bishop)

Patrick Walsh (Bishop)

infobox bishopbiog
name = The Most Reverend
Dr Patrick Walsh
religion = Catholic

imagesize = 150px
See = Diocese of Down and Connor|
Title = Bishop Emeritus of Down and Connor
Period = 19912008
Consecration = 15 May 1983Predecessor = Cahal Daly
Successor = Noel Treanor
ordination = 25 February 1956
bishops = Ros Cré (titular) 1983-1991| post = President of St Malachy's College 1970-1983| date of birth = Birth date and age|1931|4|9|df=y
place of birth = Cobh, Republic of Ireland|

Patrick Joseph Walsh (born 9 April 1931), is an Irish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and from 1991 until 2008 he was the 31st Bishop of Down & Connor. Dr Walsh was born in 1931 at Cobh, Republic of Ireland. When he was 11 years old, he and his family moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland.


He received Secondary Education at St Marys CBGS Belfast, where he was an outstanding student and received distinction in his Senior Leaving Certificate in English, Latin, Irish, Maths, Additional Maths, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Calculus and Chemistry.

In 1948 he was the Winner of a State Exhibition (Scientific), Senior Leaving Certificate and Winner of a State Exhibition (Literary), Senior Leaving Certificate and was awarded 2 University Scholarships for both exhibitions.

He entered St. Malachy's College as a seminarian and attended Queen's University, Belfast. During Philosphy studies at Queen's he was taught by the future Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Cahal Daly. He then studied Theology at the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome and completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and was ordained priest on 25 February 1956. He then completed a M.Sc. in Mathematics at Christ's College, Cambridge and subsequently another M.Sc. from Queen’s University, Belfast.He was assigned as a Mathematics teacher at St MacNissi’s College, Garron Tower from 1958-64. He was then Chaplain at Queen’s University, Belfast from 1964–1970.

He is widely seen as a traditionalist in his approach to the Liturgy, Theology and Morality/Ethics but would like to be seen as sympathetic to the struggle in peoples' day to day living. During the Troubles he made a point of visiting some victims' families and consoling the bereaved.

President of St. Malachy's College

In 1970 he was appointed President of St. Malachy's College.

His term as President of St Malachy's was seen as a "reign of terror" for some students. His strict running was felt by both students and staff alike. TV presenter Eamonn Holmes, a past-pupil of St Malachy's, spoke about how Dr Walsh had no alternative but to be strict because of the increasing violence of the time (Troubles). He spoke of his experiences of 1970s Belfast and a run in with his Headmaster:

"Canon Walsh, as he was known then, made no allowance for the disruptions. I remember doing my homework listening to riots going on outside and bullets flying. Your bus might have been hijacked by masked gunmen and burnt in the middle of the road or you might have been detained by the police – but the school gates closed at 9.15am and if you came in at 20 past he would say, looking like Batman in his robes, "You have a detention, Holmes, for three hours on Saturday morning." I don't think he had any alternative, otherwise you'd find an excuse for everything. Inside the college, it was a complete oasis."

Today he is Chairman of the Board of Governors for St. Malachy's College.


In 1983, with Dr Anthony Farquhar he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of The Diocese of Down and Connor and was consecrated on the 15th May by Bishop Cahal Daly, Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi and Bishop William Philbin. He was given the Titular See of Ros Cré. His Episcopal Motto is 'Ex Animo Operari', to work with one's heart (Col 3:24).

In 1991, on the elevation of the then Bishop of Down & Connor Cahal Daly as Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Walsh became the 31st Bishop of Down & Connor.

He was the Principal Consecrator of Bishop Michael Dallat and Bishop Donal McKeown.

He was succeeded by Monsignor Noel Treanor on 22 February 2008.

The criticisms of Walsh are often linked with his reputation as a "headmasterly" figure and his methods of running his Diocese were often reguarded as like the way he ran St Malachy's.

He is a member of the Irish Bishops Conference on Bioethics and Chairman on Culture.

infobox bishopstyles
name=Patrick Walsh
dipstyle=The Most Reverend
offstyle=My Lord
deathstyle=none |


* [ Diocese of Down & Connor]

* [ Patrick J Walsh on Catholic Hierarchy]

* [ Comments by Secretary of the Congrgation for Divine Worship on disobedience by bishops]

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