Dean Victor Stacey of St Patrick’s Cathedral to step down

Cleric had been involved with ministry since 1960 and had intended retiring at age 65

Dean Victor Stacey of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin is to stand down from the end of March.

Installed in March 2012, he will be 72 this month.

Speaking to The Irish Times, he recalled how on assuming the role he said he was not in for the long haul.

“Health is not an issue,” he said. “I was called in to restore equilibrium and harmony, and that’s done,” he said.

He might have stood down sooner, but vacancies elsewhere in the cathedral needed to be filled first.

Cathedral works

Some major works needed to be carried out at the cathedral involving the roof and other issues which would require fundraising, and it was better if this could be undertaken by someone serving a 10- to 15-year term as dean, he said.

He had been involved with ministry in one form or another since 1960, and had intended retiring at 65.

“I was quite happy doing what I was doing - then I was appointed here. I reconciled to that and threw myself into it. I enjoyed it.

“I was never going to be a dynamic person, that was not my plan. I was not going to be outspoken,” he said, though there were many who advised him what he might say in the spirit of predecessors Swift, Griffin and McCarthy.

“I didn’t take that road. It’s not who I am. I preferred the pastoral.”

Announcing his intended retirement on March 31st to members of the cathedral community, he said he had informed the board this week.

“I feel the time is right, both for me personally and for the cathedral. It has been an honour to be elected to this office and the duties have been both rewarding and challenging.

“I fully appreciate your support and friendship, without which the job would have proved impossible, and I wish our national cathedral well in the years ahead.”

Born in Co Wexford, Dean Stacey was educated in Kilkenny College, Mountjoy School, UCD, Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University Belfast.

He was ordained in 1972 and has served in parishes North and South.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is Religious Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times