Our Long Tradition(continued)
…In November 1854, the Catholic University of Ireland received its first students at a large house acquired for the purpose at 86 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. However, it was never a success in the way that Newman had envisioned, mainly through lack of recognition from the civil authorities, and in 1857 he resigned and returned to his Oratory in Birmingham. In 1909 the institution was absorbed into the National University of Ireland.
The last decades of the twentieth century saw a secularisation of the Irish Universities accompanied by some degree of anti-Catholicism, which can be compared to the situation that had confronted Newman in Ireland in the 1850s. This, combined with the unprecedented loss of young Irish Catholics to the faith, saw an urgent need to found a new and faithful Catholic college in Ireland.
The project to establish such a college commenced in 2009. It was also inspired by the effectiveness of faithful Catholic liberal arts colleges and universities in the USA which were newly established or reformed institutions explicitly conforming to Ex Corde Ecclesiae, the Church’s Constitution on higher education promulgated by Pope John Paul II.