A number of clerical changes have been announced affecting parishes in Offaly.
Firstly, Fr Joe Gallagher, PP Tullamore is to be Vicar General in addition to Fr Declan Hurley, Navan. A native of Mucklagh, Fr Gallagher was ordained from Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1988 and, that same year was appointed Curate at the Cathedral. He has served as Director of the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes for the past fifteen years. He was appointed as Cathedral Administrator in 2004, Parish Priest of Kilcormac in 2009 and Parish Priest of Tullamore in 2013.
Fr Paddy Keary, PP Clara will retire, and Fr Joe Deegan is to be PP Clara. Fr Keary was ordained in 1965 in Maynooth. He served in St Finian’s 1965 – 1988. He was appointed as CC Kilcloon 1988 and CC Holy Family 1992, and then appointed PP Holy Family 1994 and Clara 2005. He was then appointed as Vicar Forane of Clara Deanery in 2006.
Fr Shane Crombie, CC Tullamore to be a curate in Navan, while Fr Cyprian Solomon, CC Clara goes to Saint Mary’s Drogheda and CC Holy Family, Drogheda; while Fr Fergal Cummins, a Drogheda curate will move to Tullamore.
Bishop Deenihan has appointed Fr Joe Gallagher, PP, Tullamore, as Vicar General. Fr Gallagher will join Fr Declan Hurley, PP, Navan, who is also a Vicar General of the Diocese. The Vicar General assists the Bishop in the Governance of the Diocese and also acts as a Trustee of the Diocese.
Bishop Deenihan has accepted the resignation, on grounds of age, of two priests: Fr Paddy Keary, PP Clara and Fr Joe Clavin, PP Dunshaughlin.
Both Fr Cyprian Solomon and Fr Conor Magee will become curates to both the Drogheda parishes and Fr Magee will reside in Holy Family Parish.
Bishop Deenihan said that such cooperation was desirable in the context of sharing resources and providing support but also in the context of the decline in the number of priests. There is no priestly Ordination in the Diocese of Meath this year. Bishop Deenihan said that it was vital that parishes did all they could to encourage and support vocations to the priesthood in the diocese. He commended this intention to the prayers of the people of the Diocese.
The Diocesan Changes will take effect on Monday June 17.