Bishop Michael Smith presided at the official opening of the restored Hevey Institute on Friday 16 November 2012. The iconic building has served as a centre of learning and home to the Christian Brothers since it opened its doors in the middle of the nineteenth century.
Speaking after the ceremony, Fr Padraig McMahon, Cathedral Administrator said:
“The parish of Mullingar is proud of the Hevey Institute. We are pleased that not only the original building but also the Catholic ethos of the school continues to play an important role in the community. Bishop Smith oversees the Hevey Trust, which works to support the school and maintain its historic link with the parish. I wish to congratulate Mr O’Meara, the Board of Management, the staff, students and all who played a part in the restoration of this wonderful building.
Today’s ceremony gives us an opportunity to recall the rich history of the Hevey Institute. In 1835 the retired Mullingar brewer James Hevey left his extensive property in Ballinea ‘for the support, maintenance and education of poor children in the parish of Mullingar’. Following his death in 1837, the Hevey Trust was set up to ensure that the benefactor’s purpose was fulfilled. Within 20 years – during which time the area was devastated in the Great Famine – the Hevey Institute had been built and it opened its doors on 20 October 1856. The Christian Brothers had responsibility for the general school while the classical school was run by Fr Thomas Nulty, who later became Bishop of Meath. The classical school was the ancestor of the present secondary school, Colaiste Mhuire.”
The present day members of the Hevey Trust are Bishop Smith, Fr Padraig McMahon, Fr Michael Kilmartin, Margaret Caton and Tom Shaw.
Pictured in the photo on the homepage are six past pupils of Colaiste Mhuire: from left Fr Kevin Heery, Fr Martin Carley, Fr John Nally (present chaplain), Fr Patrick O’Connor, Fr Brendan Corrigan and Fr Patrick Donnelly.