A compassionate and supportive rector of Clongowes Wood College, the school run by the Jesuit monks, where Stephen has lost most of his childhood illusions. If Stephen needed advice or help, Father Conmee would comfort him, especially after the pandying incident. He also helped Stephen to enroll Belvedere College and continue his education. But it was also Father Conmee who fanned the flames of atheism in Stephen’s hearts by not taking his problems seriously. Feeling betrayed by the priest, Stephen felt betrayed by the church and religion in general.
Fr. John Conmee in the Essays