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Leinster Leader 14th January 1961

New Consul General Leaves for Chicago

Dr. Sean O hEideain son of Mrs. Marie A. Hayden and the late Mr. Wm. Hayden, Shamrock House, Naas, and Cashel, Co. Tipperary, left on Wednesday by Aer Lingus jetliner to take up his new post as Consul General of Ireland at Chicago.
Flight IN 113 brought him to New York on the first leg of his journey to territorially the largest of the three consular areas into which the United States is divided. The consular area of Chicago extends from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.
Since 1957, he had served as Secretary of the Embassy to the Holy See. On 11th November, His Holiness Pope John XXIII created Dr. O hEideain a papal knight, making him a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great (K.C.S.G). This is a knightly order instituted in 1831 by Pope Gregory XVI and recognised in 1905 by Pope St. Pius X. The new Consul General was in December awarded the degree of Doctor in Social Science by the Faculty of Philosophy of the Angelicum International Pontificial University in Rome. The degree was awarded “cum laude” by the Angelicum and he has the unique distinction of being the only Irishman and the only layman to have been awarded the degree.
The defence of his thesis, regarding aspects of world government, was conducted entirely in Latin, in public, before a board of professors, including persons of French, Hungarian, Italian, Belgian, Canadian and Spanish nationality.
Among the general attendance at the public defence was a cross-section of the Irish community, regular and secular in Rome. Before his departure from Rome Dr. O hEideain was the guest of honour at a reception given by Ambassador Leo T. McCauley at the Villa Spada, and at several other functions. He held a farewell reception at his home “Viletta Irlanda” on the Via Aurelia. During his term at the Irish Embassy there he had the honour of being received several times in audience by the late Holy Father, Pope Pius XII, and by His Holiness Pope John. He attended the obsequies of Pope Pius, the coronation of Pope John, several canonisations, and such important events as Pope John’s visit during the first few weeks of his reign to the Irish Dominican House and Basilica of San Clemente, Rome.
Dr. O hEidean was educated at Christian Brothers Schools, Naas. His Superiors during his secondary school course there were Very Rev. Brother M.R. Keogh and Very Rev. Brother C.B. Brady, and the lay teachers included Mr. D. McNamara and the late Mr. John Ryan. He graduated in Economics (B.Comm) at the National University of Ireland, U.C.D. He joined the Civil Service and served as an Executive Officer in the Land Commission and Civil Service Commission. During the emergency he served as Lieutenant and Captain with the 1st Irish Speaking Battalion in Galway and with the Chief of Staff in Plans and Operations Branch of G.H.Q. Dr. O hEideain entered the diplomatic service as a Third Secretary by open competitive examination in 1949. After brief periods at the Department of External Affairs in Consular Section, he served as Third Secretary in Washington from 1949 to 1951 on the public relations and cultural side of the Embassy there. He later served as Charge d’Affairs in Buenos Aires and with the council of Europe at Strasbourg, and in Political and Protocol Sections of the Department of External Affairs, Dublin.

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