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The Most Reverend
|Archbishop of Armagh|
Primate of All Ireland
|Church||Church of Ireland|
|Elected||17 July 1969|
|Consecration||28 October 1952|
by Arthur Barton
|Born||4 July 1910|
Dublin, County Dublin, Ireland
|Died||15 November 1991 (aged 81)|
Dublin, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland
|Buried||St. Maelruain's Church, Tallaght|
|Parents||John Francis A Simms & Ottilie Sophie Stange|
|Spouse||Mercy Felicia Gwynn|
|Previous post(s)||Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross (1952–1956)|
Archbishop of Dublin (1956–1969)
Early life and education
George Otto Simms was born on 4 July 1910 in North Dublin in Ireland to parents John Francis A Simms & Ottilie Sophie Stange both from Lifford, County Donegal, as per his birth Certificate. He also attended the Prior School in Lifford for a time and also attended Cheltenham College, a public school in the United Kingdom. He went on to study at Trinity College Dublin, where in 1930 he was elected a Scholar and graduated with a B.A. in classics in 1932 and a B.D in 1936. He later completed a Ph.D. in 1950.
Clerical and scholarly career
He became a deacon in 1935 and a priest in 1936, beginning his ministry as a curate at St Bartholomew's, Clyde Road, Dublin under Canon W.C.Simpson.
In 1937 he took a position in Lincoln Theological College but returned to Dublin in 1939 to become Dean of Residence in Trinity College Dublin and Chaplain Secretary of the Church of Ireland College of Education. He was appointed Dean of Cork in 1952; consecrated a bishop, he served as Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, between 1952 and 1956. At forty-two, he was the youngest Church of Ireland clergyman appointed to a Bishopric since John Gregg in 1915.
From 1969 to 1980, he served as Archbishop of Armagh. He was a scholar, and published research on the history of the Church of Ireland and on the Book of Kells. He was also a fluent speaker of the Irish language.
Alongside Cardinal William Conway, Simms chaired the first official ecumenical meeting between the leaders of Ireland's Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church in Ballymascanlon Hotel, Dundalk, Co. Louth on 26 September 1973, an important meeting amidst the increasing violence in Northern Ireland. The meeting was protested by Ian Paisley.
He was the uncle of mathematician David J. Simms. Simms is interred with his wife, Mercy Felicia née Gwynn (1915–1998), in the cemetery attached to St. Maelruain's Church, Tallaght, County Dublin.
- For Better, for Worse, 1945
- The Book of Kells: a short description, 1950
- (ed with E. H. Alton and P. Meyer) The Book of Kells (facsimile edn), Berne, 1951
- The Bible in Perspective, 1953
- Christ within Me, 1975
- Irish Illuminated Manuscripts, 1980
- In My Understanding, 1982
- Tullow's Story, 1983
- (with R. G. F. Jenkins) Pioneers and Partners, 1985
- Angels and Saints, 1988
- Exploring the Book of Kells, 1988
- Brendan the Navigator, 1989
- Lesley Whiteside: George Otto Simms: A Biography, (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1990), p. 21.
- Daithí Ó Corráin, Rendering to God and Caesar: The Irish churches and the two states in Ireland, 1949–73 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), p. 71.
- Ibid, p. 184.
- Ibid, p. 81.
- Ibid, p. 226.
- Guidera, Anita (1 September 2006). "Academic caught up in factory planning dispute". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Daithí Ó Corráin, Rendering to God and Caesar: The Irish churches and the two states in Ireland, 1949–73, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006).
- Lesley Whiteside: George Otto Simms: A Biography, (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1990).