Monday 27 March 2017

John Cooney: New bishop sets out on the 'road less travelled'

Bishop Kieran O'Reilly with his predecessor Willie Walsh and a parishioner after his consecration in Ennis, Co Clare yesterday
Bishop Kieran O'Reilly with his predecessor Willie Walsh and a parishioner after his consecration in Ennis, Co Clare yesterday

John Cooney

IT was the first time in the hallowed litany of sacred musical pomp which traditionally surrounds the consecration of an Irish bishop that Frank Sinatra set the signature tune for the ceremony.

St Patrick would surely have been bemused by the acclaim accorded yesterday at SS Peter & Paul's Cathedral in Ennis, Co Clare, to a lusty rendering of Ol' Blue Eyes's 'New York, New York' by the Ennis Brass Band.

The unexpected selection of "Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today" added a carnival touch to the solemn proceedings. It was a fitting musical tribute to the much-loved and popular Bishop Willie Walsh, taking his leave of his flock after a 16-year ministry that made him an outspoken member of the Irish Bishops' Conference.

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