Rev Fr. D.J Slattery was born on 29th February 1916 in Fermoy, Ireland into the family of Mr. Timothy Slattery and Kate Slattery. His father was a master Tailor while his mother was a trained Dress maker. There were Eight Children in the family – Six Boys and Two Girls. He was ordained a Priest on the 17th December 1939 – a few months before he attained the age of 24.
He first arrived in Nigeria via a ship after 30 days of sailing from Liverpool on the 17th June 1939. He began his pastoral duty at Ilawe Ekiti a sleepy town in now Ekiti State. In 1956, the Archbishop Leo Taylor, a member of the Society for Africa Missions (SMA) invited Fr Slattery to establish a secondary school in Lagos after his stint at St Gregory’s College and so in 1956, St Finbarr’s College was founded as a Technical cum Grammar School in Akoka. Fr Slattery retired as the Principal of the school in 1975 and went into full pastoral duties at St Denis Catholic Church Bariga. A church he founded as the Parish Priest before he finally retired as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lagos, where he left his footprints in the sand of time.
Father Slattery was a missionary, educationist, journalist, technocrat, football administrator and mentor of men. Part of what Fr. Slattery would be remembered for as his contribution to the development of Nigerian Society includes Chairman, Nigerian Football Association, (NFA), Member, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Chairman, Nigerian Referees Association, Chairman, Leper Colony of Nigeria, Editor, Catholic Herald Newspaper, Foundation Member Nigeria Union Of Journalism and Secretary, Commonwealth Games and Appeal Fund.
Other accolades include Founder SS Peter and Paul, Shomolu, Our Lady of Fatima Private School Bariga, St Joseph Vocational School Akoka, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church and St Flavius Catholic Church Oworonshoki, Lagos.