Fr Des Hillery who is a native of Milltown Malbay, Co. Clare was educated at St Flannan’s College, Ennis and St Patrick’s College Maynooth. He was ordained in 1984. He continued Post Graduate Studies in Maynooth in 1984-85, receiving the STL and he completed the Higher Diploma in Education in UCC while teaching in St. Finbarr’s College, Farranferris.
He returned to the Diocese in 1986 and taught in St. Flannan’s College Ennis until 1994 when he was appointed to the formation staff of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. While there he also took a one year Diploma in Spirituality and Counselling in St Louis University, Missouri, USA. He completed his appointment in Maynooth in 2005 and took a course in Mission Studies in Dalgan Park, Navan, Co Meath as an associate priest with the Columban missionaries. In 2006 he volunteered to work with the Columban Missionaries in Lima, Peru.
He returned to the diocese in 2012 and since that time has been serving as Parish Priest of Nenagh. Following the appointment of Bishop Kieran O'Reilly as Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Fr. Des was elected as Administrator of the Diocese until the ordination of Bishop Fintan on September 25th.
According to the Code of Canon Law (CIC 475): In each diocese, the Diocesan Bishop is to appoint a Vicar General to assist him in the governance of the whole Diocese.
(CIC 479) In virtue of his office the Vicar General has the same executive power throughout the whole diocese as that which belongs by law to the diocesan Bishop: that is, he can perform all administrative acts, with the exception however of those which the Bishop has reserved to himself, or which by law require a special mandate of the Bishop.