Dublin’s historic institution is closing due to a reduction in the number of students
The historic All Hallows College religious institution in Dublin will close due to a shortage of students and declining funding.
The college announced that it has been operating with “growing deficits for years” and that, despite significant cost cuts and fundraising, its closure was inevitable. All Hallows also refers to the fact that it does not receive government grants and that efforts to increase the number of students are hampered by limiting the number of students eligible for free fees in Ireland.
The college is currently in the process of collapsing and is helping many of the existing 450 students find alternative colleges where they can complete their courses.
Founded in 1842, the institution in Drumkondra in northern Dublin has been governed by the Vincentian Congregation since 1892. Over the years, the seminary has trained 5,000 priests who have been sent to work throughout the English-speaking world as well as in South America. When the number of seminarians attending the college decreased in the 1980s, it began accepting secular students, offering degrees and courses in areas such as social justice and ethical leadership.
The college recently gained international attention after auctioning a cache of letters written by Jackie Kennedy to the elderly priest Vincent, Father Joseph Leonard, who died at All Hallows in 1964. However, the college withdrew the letters from the auction after intervening with the Kennedy Family. The letters were written between 1950 and 1964, and the college estimated that their sale would bring in more than 1 million euros.
In a separate case, a police investigation is underway into the disappearance of several valuables from the college’s archives, the total cost of which could be up to 100,000 euros. Missing books and paintings include two 1480s incunabula and 15 engravings by 18th-century Italian artist Piranesi worth up to 5,000 euros each.