Much-loved Fr Ger dies after brave battle with cancer

October 23rd, 2021 10:05 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Fr Ger Galvin, who died on Wednesday of this week. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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THE death has taken place of much-loved West Cork priest Fr Ger Galvin after his brave battle with cancer. 

Fr Ger made an emotional online farewell broadcast in August when he told his parishioners on the Sheep’s Head peninsula that he was to retire due to his incurable cancer. 

In the broadcast, the Timoleague native asked for prayers and forgiveness as he explained about the cancer in his bones and lungs.

A firm advocate of technology in his work, it was fitting that the priest used video to reach out to his parishioners in Muintir Bhaire.

Fr Galvin was a popular priest on the peninsula, and a regular at the famous Ahakista quiz which was MC’d annually by local resident Graham Norton. The two were friends. 

He is also remembered for getting a round of applause from his parishioners when he symbolically broke a tile on the altar, as he castigated the church for failing to safeguard the Tuam babies, in 2017. 

He was ordained in 1979 and served in the parishes of Gurranabraher, Skibbereen, Passage West, Monkstown, Clonakilty and Muintir Bháire. He retired from full-time ministry earlier this year having served as parish priest in Muintir Bháire since 2009.

Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to two other well-known members of the clergy in West Cork, Canon Micheál Ó Dálaigh and Archdeacon Liam O’Driscoll, who died recently.

Canon Micheál Ó Dálaigh – a native of Drimoleague, a retired PP of Curraheen parish, and a past president of St Finbarr’s College in Farranferris – died on Tuesday October 5th.

The death of Archdeacon Liam O’Driscoll, a native of Skeagh, Skibbereen, occurred on Thursday October 7th last. 

Canon Micheál Ó Dálaigh bravely battled a long illness before dying peacefully, at Bushmount Nursing Home in Clonakilty, where he has resided since 2016.
Canon Micheál was ordained to the priesthood in 1971. His first appointment was as chaplain to St Marie’s of the Isle Convent in Cork, for a year, before joining the staff of St Finbarr’s College in Farranferris in 1972.

He served as curate in Dunmanway parish from 1981 until 1983, when he was appointed president of Farranferris.

From 1990 until 2001 he was the parish priest at St Joseph’s in Mayfield and was parish priest at Curraheen Road from 2001 until 2013. 

He continued to serve in Curaheen Road as assistant priest until his retirement from full-time ministry in 2015.

Archdeacon Liam O’Driscoll, a retired priest of Clogheen Parish, had only retired from full-time ministry earlier this year.

He was ordained in 1967 and served in the parishes of Dunmanway, Crosshaven, The Cathedral Parish, Glanmire and Clogheen. He served on the Cork and Ross Peru Mission, as Chaplain to Cork University Hospital, and on the staff of Farranferris College. 

He was the diocesan communications director for a period of time and was appointed Archdeacon of the Cathedral Chapter in 2016.

The diocesan office said both men will be deeply mourned by Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop John Buckley, fellow clergy, parishioners, their family and their friends.

Canon Micheál Ó Dálaigh (left) died on Tuesday, October 5th, and two days later Archdeacon Liam O’Driscoll passed away on Thursday, October 7th.


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