Retired bank CEO and former Belvederean Paddy McEvoy was presented with the Dominic Collins SJ medal of the Irish Jesuit Province at a special event in Milltown Park on 18 September 2019. Paddy is the first recipient of this medal, which is awarded to men and women who have most closely collaborated in the mission of the Society, with a spirit of generosity and for the greater glory of God. The medal is named after Blessed Dominic Collins SJ, a Jesuit brother who was martyred in Youghal, Co. Cork, in 1602.
Paddy was presented with the medal by Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, Irish Jesuit Provincial. Fr Moloney cited the extraordinary service which Paddy gave to his former school, Belvedere College, especially helping with the youth club. His signal help with the farm at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, was also noted. As well as getting directly involved in these matters, Paddy proved to be a dedicated and effective fund-raiser. In his response to Fr Moloney’s citation, Paddy remarked on how much St Ignatius’s motto of being ‘men for others’ has always impressed and guided him. Present at the event were his wife, Keyna, other members of his family, a number of friends, and some teachers and Jesuits who have worked closely with him down the years.
Paddy began his career in banking with the Hibernian Bank, then moved to the Bank of Ireland, but it is mostly as one of the founders of Irish Intercontinental Bank (IIB) and as its CEO for over 25 years that he is remembered. He later served the bank as chairman and then as honorary president. He was also highly regarded for his successful work restructuring K&H, Hungary’s largest commercial bank, when it moved into the private sector after the break-up of the Soviet bloc.
Paddy graduated from University College Dublin in 1967. He later got an MBA at Harvard Business School, and in 2007 he was awarded a PhD by the Smurfit Business School.
But it is Paddy’s work as chairman of the board of Belvedere College that he was remembered at the recent event, especially the great role he played in maintaining the Jesuit ethos in the College as the number of Jesuit teachers on the staff began to dwindle.
In his memoir, Choosing the positive, Paddy wrote of his book, “It is an acknowledgement of my debt to Belvedere College and the Jesuits as the great influence on my life philosophy and life choices. It is a love story and a social history.”
The Dominic Collins SJ medal itself shows, on the obverse side, a contemporary picture of Dominic Collins, with the dates of his birth and martyrdom, 1566-1602. The reverse face presents the traditional monogram of the Society of Jesus: the first three letters in Greek of the Holy Name of Jesus, IHS, surrounded by a sunburst. The legend reads For the greater glory of God, which comes from the Formula of the Institute of the Society of Jesus, written in 1540 by St Ignatius Loyola and confirmed by Pope Julius III in 1550. The Formula of the Institute is the foundation document of the Jesuits, setting out its mission and spirit.