The Chaplaincy Service seeks to nurture and care for the spiritual dimension of each member of the University community. The Chaplains offer a range of liturgical, pastoral, advisory, social, and recreational activities and services to all students and staff of NUI Galway.

What we do

The Chaplains offer a broad range of services, activities and opportunities including

  • A confidential and respectful listening and advisory service for all students and staff within and outside normal office hours
  • Pastoral care for those who have particular needs and difficulties (bereavement, loneliness, illness, relationship breakdown etc) 
  • A liaison and referral facility between students and the various University academic and non-academic departments and services 
  • Promotion of ecumenism on and off campus and the provision of resources and contact information for all the major religious denominations 
  • A full range of liturgical, sacramental and social opportunities in the Chapel of St. Columbanus 
  • Summer volunteering projects in developing countries 
  • Numerous events and activities that seek to explore, celebrate and develop the spiritual dimension of human existence 
  • Co-ordination of the University response to a student death.

Recognised Ministries

  • Church of Ireland:                         Rev. Gary Hastings        91 521914
  • Methodist/Presbyterian:                Rev. Helen Freeburn   91 449124
  • Baptist Church:                            Rev. Denis Jacob           091 596944 
  • Reformed Presbyterian Church:    Rev. Raymond Blair      091 763437 
  • Galway Christian Fellowship:         Mr. Stephen Kenny        091 752 989

Other Denominations

Mass in the Chapel of St. Columbanus

  • Sunday 1pm and 9pm
  • Monday to Friday 1.10pm

Note: Mass is celebrated only during term-time.

Read about all Chapel liturgies and events

Weddings on Campus

Students, staff and graduates of NUI, Galway are most welcome to get married in the Chapel of St. Columbanus as long as all civil and canon law requirements are fulfilled. Some space, parking and calendar restrictions also apply. 

For further information on planning a wedding see

Because the Chapel is not a University building and is entirely self-supporting, a donation is requested towards running costs (heat, light, insurance, maintenance etc) from those who get married here.

If you have any questions or if you want to book the Chapel for your wedding please contact us.

Meet the Chaplains

Fr. Barry Horan
After secondary school in St. Mary's College, Galway, he studied one year of Commerce here at NUI,Galway before entering seminary at Maynooth.  Since his ordination for the Diocese of Galway in 1999, he has served in Gort Community School, University College Hospital (Merlin Park), Galway Marriage Tribunal, and assisted in the parishes of Gort, Galway Cathedral, Ros Muc and Knocknacara.

Fr Ben Hughes
Ordained in 1990, has experience in parish ministry, adult education, retreat facilitation and spiritual direction.  Using a psycho-spiritual approach Fr Ben incorporates lived experience and the richness of our faith to develop a spirituality that is meaningful for contemporary life.  Integrating insights from psychology he explores the spiritual journey, promoting personal development and providing space for wellbeing, healing and transformation.  Fr Ben holds an MSc in Counselling and Therapeutic Communication (University of Ulster) and a Higher Diploma in Education (Trinity College, Dublin).  His PhD was awarded through the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.

Ms. Dolores McAndrew, Administrative Assistant
Dolores is a graduate of UCG and has worked with the Chaplaincy since 1997.

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