The Minister for Education Joe McHugh is attending the canonisation ceremony of Cardinal John Henry Newman, founder of University College Dublin, in Rome today.
Minister McHugh will represent An Taoiseach and the Government at the canonisation of Cardinal Newman who was UCD’s first rector and president when it was founded as the Catholic University of Ireland.
Cardinal Newman served as the university’s first rector between 1854 and 1858. He was also recognised as a poet, philosopher and historian.
Newman is famed for his series of lectures which were published as the “Idea of a University”, which has influenced thought on education greatly in Ireland and throughout the world.
Minister McHugh has a number of engagements while in Rome including a reception at the Urbania Pontifical University attended by His Royal Highness Prince Charles and a number of British dignitaries.
As head of the Irish delegation, Minister McHugh will meet Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica for a brief meeting before the ceremony on Sunday.
Ireland’s Ambassador to the Holy See, Derek Hannon will also attend the canonisation ceremony.
Newman believed in the power and potential of education to develop people in ways beyond just academic knowledge.
The more holistic view we have of education today is rooted in this belief.
Minister McHugh said: “It is a privilege to be present for such a famous celebration of a significant figure in the history of Irish education.
“I am honoured to have been asked to represent the Government at such a significant ceremony to mark the life, works and legacy of Cardinal Newman.”