In Memoriam – Archbishop Donald Caird

It is with both sadness and thanksgiving for his life and ministry that we report that Archbishop Donald Caird, former Archbishop of Dublin and former Bishop of Limerick, died this morning, 1st June. Bishop Kenneth shares his thoughts and recollections of a hugely accomplished man.
‘The passing of Archbishop Donald Caird brings fond memories of a kind and gentle bishop who did so much to shape the Church of Ireland in the twentieth century, especially in the Republic.
A Dubliner in origin, after a brilliant academic career in Trinity he served a curacy in Belfast and as a school chaplain at Portora before working a lecturer in Philosophy at St David’s Lampeter in Wales. After an incumbency in Dublin he became Dean of Ossory before becoming Bishop of Limerick, Ardert and Aghadoe in 1970, then Bishop of Meath and Kildare in 1976, and then Archbishop of Dublin 1985-96.
His time as a philosophy lecturer fostered his love of ideas, and in meetings or in conversation he could be distracted joyfully from administrative procedures to pursue an important philosophical point, often drawing the listener to the writings of Immanuel Kant, the German philosopher on whom he was quite an expert.
He has a passion for the Irish language, nurtured during his frequent family holidays in Kerry and visits to the Gaeltacht there, and spoke Irish with a most wonderful ‘blas’ (accent). He was quite an expert on the life of Douglas Hyde, first President of Ireland and another Gaelgoir, on whom Donald often lectured.
Above all, he will be remembered as a kind and caring priest and bishop. His wit and disarming charm belied a pastor and churchman with a clear vision for the Church of Ireland and its place, role and potential contribution to the shaping of modern Ireland. He was never more clear or animated than when he spoke of church and society and the essential interrelationship between the two.
Here in Limerick we thank God on every remembrance of him as our former bishop, and pray for his wife Nancy, and their children Anne, John and Helen, and their families.’
“Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”