St Patrick's College in Thurles, which has educated priests and lay people since 1837, has decided to close the seminary side of its operations due to the fall in vocations.

Over 1500 students of the college have been ordained to the priesthood since its foundation. Many have gone on to work throughout the world in particular in the United States.

The college will continue to operate as a third level institute of theological and philosophical studies. It is also in discussions with the Tipperary Institute about a planned new degree programme aimed at young people considering a career in teaching. The college is now part of the CAO so students can easily access its courses.

St Patrick's College will continue to function as a centre for theological, pastoral and spiritual renewal in the archdioceses of Cashel and Emly.

Students currently studying for the priesthood in Thurles will transfer to St Patrick's College in Maynooth to continue their studies.