A former UCD registrar has described as “extraordinarily narrowminded” the university’s decision to not send a representative to the canonisation of Cardinal Newman in Rome on Sunday.
Newman was UCD’s first president when it was founded as the Catholic University of Ireland in 1854.
Prof John Kelly told the Irish Times that UCD should be proud of its connection to one of the great literary figures of the 19th century.
“I am indeed sorry to say that I believe UCD to be extraordinarily narrow-minded in not recognising this great honour that its being awarded to its founder, with the excuse that as a non-sectarian university, it would be inappropriate that it should.”
He believed “this attitude will both puzzle and reflect badly on it across the international university world”.
By contrast, the University of Oxford will be represented by Neil Mendoza, Provost of Oriel College, where Newman was a fellow and Dame Hilary Boulding, president of Oxford’s Trinity College, where he was an undergraduate.