The Irish College was founded in Rome on this day in 1628. Officially known as the Pontifical Irish College, it was established in order to further prepare priests for the Irish mission. There was already several colleges in existence at the time of the establishment of the Pontifical Irish College. The first two were set up in Spain in the 1580s, with some to follow in France and the Netherlands. An Irish College in Paris was established in 1605. The Pontifical Irish College was founded by Ludivico Ludoviso, the Cardinal Protector of Ireland who wanted to preserve his title and help educate Irish priests in Rome.