Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Gargan, Denis

GARGAN, DENIS (1819–1903), president of Maynooth College, born at Duleek, co. Meath, in June 1819, was second son of Patrick Gargan and Jane Branagan.

Destined by his parents for the priesthood, he was sent at an early age to St. Finian's seminary, Navan. On 25 Aug. 1836 he entered St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, where he showed much promise, especially in physics and astronomy. He was ready for ordination before the canonical age. Ordained by Archbishop Daniel Murray on 10 June 1843, Gargan was sent to the Irish College, Paris, where he taught physics and astronomy till 1845. In that year he was appointed professor of humanity in Maynooth, and in 1859 he succeeded Matthew Kelly [q. v.] as professor of ecclesiastical history at the college. After many years of notable success in this position, he was in 1885 made vice-president of the college, and in 1894 became its president. Two historic events happened during his presidency, namely, the centenary celebration of the college foundation in 1895, and the visit of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1903. His management of both ceremonies was dignified and impressive. He died at Maynooth on 26 Aug. 1903, after sixty years' association with the college. Though a man of wide and accurate scholarship, Gargan published only two books, 'The Charity of the Church a Proof of its Divinity,' a translation from the Italian of Cardinal Balluffi (1885), and 'The Ancient Church of Ireland, a Few Remarks on Dr. Todd's "Memoirs of the Life and Times of St. Patrick" ' (Dublin, 1864).

[Irish Ecclesiastical Record, 1903, pp. 481-492; Freeman's Journal, 27 Aug. 1903; The Times, 28 Aug. 1903; Centenary History of Maynooth College, by Archbishop Healy.]

D. J. O'D.