Page 5, 7th September 2001

7th September 2001
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Page 5, 7th September 2001 — Terence Sheehy
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Terence Sheehy

Obituary GERARD NOEL

Terence Sheehy who was editor of The Catholic Herald from 1983-1988 has died peacefully after a short illness. He was 83, having been born in London on May 12, 1918.

He was a born writer and produced half-a-dozen highly respected books on Ireland, as well as numerous articles, in the course of a lifelong interest in and devotion to the promotion of Irish history and Itourism.

His education was at the hands of the Jesuits in London and Dublin. In the former he was a pupil at Stamford Hall, Cardinal Heenan's old school.

He cut his journalistic teeth on the editorial staff of The Irish Catholic, now our sister paper. From this he graduated to being publisher and editor of the Irish Cinema Quarterly, editor of The Irish Hotelier, and editor of The Irish Licensing World.

These experiences gave 11)tindant scope to his great :1

' terest in Irish history and contemporary culture. He joined the Irish Tourist Board in Dublin in 1950 and in 1952 Went off for an important formative four year stint in New York as assistant General Manager of The Irish Tourist Board for North America. This involved much travelling and lecturing in the USA and Canada.

It was while still working in New York that Terry married the delightful Patricia Barry, the second daughter of Dr St John Barry and sister of Noel, who became one of the best known Benedictines of his day in England, as Father Patrick Barry, and was headmaster and later abbot of Ampleforth Terry went on from his New York job to become General Manager and Director of Publicity at the Irish Tourist Board in London. He held this job for twenty six years between 1956 and 1982 during which time the Board's activity increased greatly in scope and importance.

A highlight of his time as head of the Irish Tourist Board in London was the masterminding of the Lambeth Conference which in 1970 was held for the first time ever in Dublin. It was a particularly successful Lambeth Conference and provided Terry with many important and interesting Anglican connections of which he made excellent use later on.

His long and fruitful running of the Irish Tourist Board in London came to an end in 1982, at the end of which year I had to envisage an end of my editing of The Catholic Herald owing to a hip replacement. Otto Herschan had the inspiration of approaching Terry Sheehy who took on the job, in which he remained for 5 years.

Terry brought a vigorous style to the paper and introduced a large number of interesting contributors. His long experience of meeting travellers, writers, diplomats and miscellaneous VIP's thus paid off handsomely.

In the early months of 1983 I had temporarily to discontinue writing Charterhouse Chronicle each week and Terry took it over for the time being. His first contribution appeared on January 28, 1983, in which he playfully upbraided the very Jesuits by whom he had himself been educated. The area of his "complaint" was that of communication and the main example given was that Terry Wogan had been at his own old school in Dublin, Belvedere, before being "finished off" by the Jesuits in Limerick, where he had been born. Terry (Sheehy) traced Wogan's levity and selfmocking air as a broadcaster to his lgnatian training.

During Terry's time as editor his brother-in-law, Fr Patrick Barry, OSB, who, by now, had been chairman of the English Catholic Public Schools Association as well as Headmaster of Ampleforth, wrote an important booklet called Adult Religious Formation and the Catholic School.

Terry, in commenting thereon in a leader in The Catholic Herald on April 8, 1983, remarked that the world of catechetics was not the exclusive concern of Catholic schools. Spreading the Faith was a work spread over a very much wider canvas.

One group of Catholics who had a special responsibility in this field was Catholic Editors. Among their most important functions was to help to make the lessons of our Faith more relevant to the world of today, especially young people. Terry kept this objective uppermost in his mind during his years at The Catholic Herald.




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