One of Ireland’s last Latin teachers has retired. Is it the end of the line for a ‘dead’ language?

Supporters insists it is a living subject that broadens cultural understanding and educational horizons.

Father Christopher Dillon, one of the last Latin teachers in Ireland, at Glenstal Abbey, Limerick. Photograph: Brian Arthur

After 50 years serving as a monk and a teacher in Glenstal Abbey, Fr Christopher Dillon is ready to retire. When he began his service, the Catholic Church had only recently stopped using Latin as the language for Mass. Older readers will recall that Latin, despite being a “dead language”, was still widely taught in schools and seen as essential for careers in law, medicine and other areas. In fact, until the 1970s, Latin was compulsory for almost anyone bound for university.
Read more from Peter McGuire at the Irish Times here.


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