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Thursday, October 27, 2016
France honours Irish priest
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 In a ceremony in the French Embassy in Dublin yesterday, Mgr Brendan Devlin was awarded the the Légion d'Honneur by the French ambassador Gabriel de Bellescize. Fr Devlin is Rector of the Irish College in Paris and Emeritus Professor of Modern Languages in the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. The honour is the highest given to a non-French national, and was awarded to Fr Devlin for his services to cultural relations between France and Ireland. The citation mentioned in particular his work for the restoration of the Irish College in Paris, his development of French studies at Maynooth, and his work as translator of several French classics into Irish. Fr Devlin was born in Co. Tyrone. He was educated at St. Columb's College, Derry; Maynooth; the Irish College in Rome, where he was ordained priest for the Diocese of Derry, and the Sorbonne in Paris. He was Professor of Modern Languages in Maynooth from 1958 to 1996. Appointed Rector of the Irish College in Paris in 1984 by the late Cardinal O'Fiaich, he was given the mission of saving this centuries-old seat of learning for the Irish people, and from 1991 to 2000 he was secretary of the Fondation Irlandaise, the trust in which the College is now vested. Fr Devlin is also well-known as a writer in the Irish language. He founded the Maynooth school of literary criticism in Irish in the 1960's. He translated the Book of Isaiah from the original Hebrew for the Irish language version of the Bible, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church of the Second Vatican Council. He has also published translations into Irish of Pascal, Montaigne, La Fontaine, Saint-Exupéry, and an anthology of French lyric poetry.
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