Fr Malachy Kilbride – An Appreciation
An outstanding teacher and educationalist at Blackrock College
Fr Malachy Kilbride: inspirational figure in the classroom and on the pitch
Fr Malachy Kilbride passed away peacefully in the presence of his sisters Dympna and Louise on St Stephen’s Day (2017) after a long illness in the Ferndale Nursing Home at Blackrock, Co Dublin.
Born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, in 1940, he joined the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans) following secondary school at Blackrock College in Dublin and spent over 60 years with the congregation.
He attended UCD where he acquired a BA, MA and H.Dip in Education. In 1967 he was ordained a priest by then then-Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid.
Fr Malachy spent almost all of the rest of his life in various positions of authority at Blackrock College. He was dean of the junior and senior boarders, games master, dean of discipline, principal and finally president.
In between he was counsellor and confidante to thousands of students.
After class in the evenings, and very often during lunch breaks, he was out on the playing field training the Junior Cup team or the senior rugby team. He was responsible for Blackrock College winning many junior and senior rugby cups.
When winning teams returned to the college from Lansdowne Road or the Aviva Stadium, Malachy would always get the crowd to say a prayer in thanksgiving that there had been no injuries and he always said some kind words about the losing side.
Malachy was honest and straight and he had no favourites. He was also an outstanding teacher and educationalist. A born leader of young people, he developed a great love for all under his care and was always successful in getting his ideas across.
He practised what he preached and brought out the best in others.
Fr Malachy really believed there was no such thing as a difficult teenager. He would get them out on the sports field and put them in a position that he knew they would like and would praise them until they were completely won over. He got everyone involved.
Past pupils of Blackrock College will tell you that during their time there they had never seen Malachy not wearing his clerical clothing when on duty. On the football field, he always wore his blue and white tracksuit, and he was really proud of that. On retirement as president of Blackrock College he served for a number of years in the parish of St Petersburg, Florida, before returning home to Ireland.
His death is deeply regretted by his Spiritan family, his sisters Dympna and Louise, brothers Aidan and Kevin, sisters-in-law Kenise, Mary, and Ita, brother-in-law Frank, and extended family.
A great priest, teacher and educationalist has passed away. Fr Malachy Kilbride will not be forgotten. During his funeral Mass in the College chapel “a dry eye was not to be found”.
God be with you until we meet again.