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Killarney priest marks 50 years of priesthood in Nottingham




By Sean Moriarty

Fr Michael O’Donoghue, who is originally from Tiernaboul, has celebrated 50 years in the priesthood in his adopted home of Newark, Nottinghamshire, England.


Following a conversation with the then Dean of St Brendan’s College, Monsignor John Moynihan five weeks before his Leaving Certificate exams in 1964, Michael decided to enter the priesthood.

In September of that year, he and 65 other first-year seminarians joined All Hallows Missionary College in Dublin.

“There were 201 other students covering a six year period of training, all dressed in black soutanes and Roman Collars – a big change from playing football in Keefe’s Field in Spa,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

On completion of his studies a toss of a coin decided his future. He was offered a choice of joining Kerry missionaries in either Sacramento, California or Nottingham.

“I had not given a future much thought so I eventually tossed a coin and it was heads for Nottingham,” he added.

After Ordination in the College Chapel on June 14, 1970 he was appointed to St Joseph’s Oakham as Assistant Priest to Fr Michael Lynch from Longford.

Four years later he was sent to England for the first time, to the parish of St Alban’s in Derby, where he served 54,000 people living in one housing estate.

In 1980, he was appointed Director of Youth Services for the Nottingham Diocese, covering the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Rutland.

From 1991 to 2000 he served as the parish priest and dean of Leicester before an eight-year stint as parish priest and Dean of Lincoln. From September 2008 he served as the parish priest in Newark and, at the same time, the Dean of Sherwood.

Late last year he was installed as the Honorary Canon of St Barnaba’s Cathedral in Nottingham by Bishop Patrick McKinney.

A special celebration was due to take place last week but pandemic restrictions prevented it going ahead and instead he celebrated with an online ceremony that was broadcast live from St Barnaba’s Cathedral in Nottingham.

“My personal Golden Jubilee of Ordination fell on Sunday, June 14. Holy Trinity Academy had plans in place for Friday 12 to involve our parish children and parents. The sick and housebound were being invited to a Service of Anointing and Holy Communion on Saturday 13, with a final flourish of invited guests to a Sunday evening Mass led by Bishop Patrick McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham, followed by a party for guests and parishioners,” he said.

“Like many other events, those plans fell by the wayside when COVID-19 raised its ugly head. But it was so good to be able to livestream the Jubilee Mass on the day. Many people participated virtually including my family members who had planned to be here for the occasion.”

Fr Michael is still a regular visitor to his hometown, the Kelliher family in Tiernaboul and the O’Donoghue family in Coolcaslagh are always on his visiting list. His sister Margaret lives in Lombardstown, Cork and is married to the son of a Minish man, Donie O’Sullivan, and his brother Sheamus lives in Ballycasey, Co Clare and is married to Margaret O’Dwyer from Templemore Co Tipperary.

He is an accomplished golfer and former track and field athlete.

“The days of cross-country running in the fields of Killarney may be the memories of youth, but 18 holes whenever the opportunity lends itself keeps the competitive heart beating away and the spirits high, as well as being able to come home on holiday and spend home-from-home time with my brother Sheamus and his family and my sister Margaret and her family.”



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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