Cardinal Tomás Ó Fiaich
Tomás Ó Fiaich was born in Cullyhanna in south Co. Armagh 3 November 1923. He received his early education at St. Patrick's College in Armagh City and was ordained into the priesthood on 6 July 1948.
A noted scholar in the Irish language and with a profound interest in folk lore and history he joined the teaching staff of St. Patrick's College Maynooth in 1953 where from 1959 until 1974 he was professor of modern history. He became vice president of Maynooth in 1970 and in 1974 was made president of the college.
In spite of his academic background he was appointed to the vacant archbishopric of Armagh and the Primacy of all Ireland in August 1977 and was raised to cardinal just two years later. During his primacy he held a high profile in Irish public life on both sides of the border. He welcomed Pope John Paul II to Ireland in 1979 and continued to follow his deep interest in Irish and local history. He became a key figure also in the political life of Northern Ireland as the 'Troubles' continued to unfold.
Tomás Ó Fiaich died suddenly at the age of 66 whilst leading a diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes in May 1990. He is buried in the grounds of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Armagh.
Rugadh Tomás Ó Fiaich i gCoilleach Eanach i deisceart Ard Mhacha ar 3ú Samhain 1923. D’fhreastail sé ar Choláiste Naomh Pádraig i gCathair Ard Mhacha agus oirníodh é mar shagart ar 6ú Iúil 1948.
Ba Ghael mór é Ó Fiaich a raibh suim as chuimse aige sa bhéaloideas agus sa stair. Fuair sé post múinteoireachta i gColáiste Naoimh Pádraig, Maigh Nuad sa bhliain 1953 agus idir 1959 agus 1974 ceapadh é mar ollamh le nua-stair. Rinneadh Leas-Uachtarán an choláiste do i 1970 agus Uachtarán na Coláiste sa bhliain 1974.
In ainneoin go raibh cúlra acadúil ceapadh é mar Ardeaspag Dheoise Ard Mhacha agus Éarlamh na hÉireann i mí Lúnasa. Rinneadh Cairdinéal dó dhá bhliain ina dhiaidh sin. Le linn a phríomhachta, bhí sé go mór i mbéal an phobail ar an dá thaobh don teorainn. Chuir sé fáilte roimh an Phápa Eoin Pól II go hÉirinn i 1979 agus lean sé ar aghaidh fosta lena chuid oibre in earnáil an bhéaloidis agus stair áitiúil. Bhí sé lárnach fosta i bpolaitíocht an Tuaisceart le linn ré na dTrioblóidí.
Fuair Tomás Ó Fiaich bás go tobann agus é ar oilithreacht Lourdes i mí na Bealtaine 1990, bhí sé trí scór agus sé bliana d’aois. Cuireadh é i bhfearann Ardeaglais Phádraig in Ard Mhacha.