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New Deacon for Clogher Diocese

The Diocese of Clogher celebrated the ordination as Deacon of one of its seminarians. On Tuesday 18 April, Sean Mulligan, a native of Tydavnet parish in Co Monaghan and a seminarian at Rome’s Pontifical Irish College, was ordained to the first of the three degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, in the Church of St Alphonsus Liguori on the Via Merulana in Rome.

The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. The Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Monsignor Joseph McGuinness and several other priests of the diocese were among the concelebrants.

Also ordained to the diaconate were James Daly and Robert Smyth, both of whom will serve in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Family members of each of the three new deacons participated in the liturgy as readers and bearers of the gifts. Sean Mulligan was robed in his diaconal vestments by Fr Leo Creelman, CC, Castleblayney. Music for the liturgy was led by the choirsters of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.

Ordination to the diaconate is the final stage before ordination to Priesthood. This was the fifth such ordination for the Diocese of Clogher in the past five years.

Biographical Notes

Seán Mulligan, aged 46, is the son of the late Michael and Philomena Mulligan (R.I.P). One of three brothers, he was educated in St. Joseph’s N.S, Knockatallon, and Beech Hill College, Monaghan, before obtaining a National Diploma in Civil Engineering from Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT).  

After working for three years in the concrete business, Seán took up a post with Monaghan GAA, coaching the skills of Gaelic Football and Hurling to primary school children in the north-Monaghan area. It was during this period that Seán felt a renewed inner-desire to serve God through the priesthood, but he chose instead to pursue a career in Intellectual Disability Nursing through DKIT. and St. Mary’s Residential Centre, Drumcar, Co. Louth. He spent five years working as a staff nurse in St. Mary’s before finally answering the call to priesthood, entering formal studies for the Diocese of Clogher in 2007.

Seán spent the first year of his formation in a propaedeutic year at the Royal English College in Valladolid in Spain, before studying philosophy for two years.

He underwent a pastoral year in Dublin, working alongside Fr. Peter McVerry, S.J., where he gained a great deal of experience in working with the homeless, individuals with drug and alcohol addictions, and with prisoners.

Following this, Seán moved to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome to study for a degree in theology at the Angelicum University.

Seán is an avid sports fan, and a devoted follower of his home club, Scotstown G.F.C., and the Monaghan county teams. He represented his club, Scotstown, at all levels, winning two Monaghan Senior Football Championships with them in 1992 and 1993. He has also represented Monaghan county at Vocational Schools’, Minor, U’21, and senior level.  

He is also a lifelong member of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association.