BY JOHN SEXTON
IT was from Rockwell to Sierra Leone, and from Beal Tra to Oileán Chléire, that encompassed the missionary life of Fr Peter Queally, CSSp, who recently celebrated the golden jubilee of his ordination, with ceremonies on Cape Clear and at Courtmacsherry.
A native of Béal Trá, overlooking Broadstrand, on the southside of Courtmacsherry, Fr Peter, completed his secondary education at Rockwell College near Cashel, and then began his spiritual life with the Holy Ghost missionary congregation. Fr Queally was ordained to the priesthood by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid, CSSp, on July 3rd, 1966.
Shortly after his ordination, he was assigned to missionary work in Sierra-Leone, where he was to spend the next twenty-five years. On his return to Ireland, he was attached to Rockwell College and having brushed up on his Irish, he began the task of weekend duty on Cape Clear (Oileán Chléire).
Much-loved by the congregation on the Island, Fr Queally’s anniversary was celebrated with a special mass and a reception on Sunday, July 3rd. Many of his friends and admirers from Barryroe parish travelled to the Island for the ceremony.
Following the celebrations on Cape Clear, on Friday 8th, in the presence of twenty priests and Bishop Buckley, Fr Peter celebrated his golden jubilee in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Courtmacsherry. The special celebration saw a packed congregation join Fr Peter in the church where he was baptised and received his First Holy Communion.
The priests included, Mons Aidan O’Driscoll, Mons Barry O’Leary, Mons Leonard O’Brien and Fathers Daithi Kenneally CSSp, Jack Meade CSSp, Michael Malone CSSp, Walter McNamara CSSp, Dan O’Brien MSC, Ted McCarthy OSA, Tom Sexton OSA, Willie Kingston CSSp, Paddy Hickey, Eoin Whooley, Eddie Collins, Danny Pyburn, Dave O’Connell, Tomás Ó Murchú and Billy McNamara (Heuston, Texas).
Bishop Buckley, in paying tribute to Fr Queally, spoke in glowing terms of his work as a missionary in Sierra Leone and of his present contribution to the diocese in Oileán Chléire .
Some of the many friends and associates of Fr Peter over the years who joined the celebrations included Micheál Ó Ceadagan of the Cape Clear Co-Op, who received the Plunkett Award for co-op endeavour a few years ago.
The hospitality of the local ladies was evident by the social reception, which they provided in the local community hall, which was once the old national school where Fr Peter received his early education.
As the celebrations drew to a close Fr Peter thanked everybody for organising such a wonderful occasion.