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Killarney priest marks 50 years of priesthood in Nottingham

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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.”

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

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If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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New Patient Advocacy Service offering support to Kerry people

A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital. The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive […]

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A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital.

The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive (HSE) funded public acute hospital.

People in the Kerry area looking for support can contact the Patient Advocacy Service confidential helpline on 0818 293003 to speak to a trained advocate who will help them to get information on the HSE’s complaints investigation process, called ‘Your Service, Your Say’.

The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns.

The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it. They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint.

“Until now, people in Kerry and across Ireland who experienced difficulties in the Irish health service often felt there was nowhere for them to turn,” Service Manager for the Patient Advocacy Service, Claire Lehane, said.

GUIDANCE

“The newly established Patient Advocacy Service offers patients the guidance and information they need to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the care they receive. It is free, independent and run by our professionally trained patient advocates who will use their compassion and knowledge to guide people through the HSE complaints process.”

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie or for more information see patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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