Bishop Brendan Leahy announces appointment of new director of Veritas

27 Sep, 2016 | News

Bishop Brendan Leahy, President of Veritas, has announced the appointment of Mr Aidan Chester as the new director of Veritas, Ireland’s leading religious publisher and retailer.

Bishop Leahy said, “As President of Veritas, I am delighted to announce the appointment of our new director, Aidan Chester, who will take up his role on 17 October following the planned retirement of the current director, Maura Hyland.  Aidan has been a member of the senior management team of Veritas since joining the company in 2009.  In that role he was responsible for the retail, distribution and marketing functions in the company.  A computer science graduate from UCD, he is a seasoned business leader with over twenty-five years of experience in sales, marketing, operational and IT management.  Prior to joining Veritas in 2009, Aidan was responsible for managing major retail operations, holding leadership roles with several well-known high street commercial and book retailers.  I am sure Aidan’s appointment will bring many new opportunities for Veritas in the future.”

Commenting on his new role as director of Veritas, Aidan Chester, who is married to Orlaigh and they have four sons, said that he was looking forward to the challenges of leading Ireland’s foremost religious publisher and retailer.

Veritas publish over forty books each year in the areas of theology, scripture, prayer, spirituality, parenting, counselling, children’s issues, social commentary and liturgical resource.  Veritas also publish religious education texts for primary and post-primary schools, which are used throughout Ireland, as well as in Scotland.  Owned by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Veritas’ primary function is to serve the publishing needs of the Catholic Church in Ireland.

Veritas’ origins lie with the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, which was founded in 1899 to publish and distribute a range of religious material to the Irish people. In 1928, Veritas branched out into retail and opened a store on Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, where it sold religious artefacts and pamphlets published by the Catholic Truth Society. The company expanded by distributing pamphlets published in England and the United States. In the 1930s and 1940s, Veritas supplied church vestments, as well as engaging in the travel business, by organising trips to Lourdes, Fatima and Knock.

In the 1960s, the Communications Centre was founded in Booterstown by the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, under the directorship of Father Joe Dunn.  It came about as a response to changes and developments in the media and to help meet the information needs of the faithful.  In 1969, it merged with the Catholic Truth Society to become the Catholic Communications Institute of Ireland, later being renamed Veritas Communications.

Veritas Publications came into existence in 1969, its first title being Patrick in His Own Words by Bishop Joseph Duffy.  Between 1979 and 1988, retail outlets were opened in Cork, Ennis, Sligo, Letterkenny and Stillorgan in south Dublin.  The first Veritas store in Northern Ireland was opened in Derry in November 2001.  Since 2004, Veritas has opened a store in the Blanchardstown Centre in west Dublin, one in Monaghan incorporating a Christian Art Gallery, and stores in Naas in Co Kildare and in Newry, Co Down.

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