independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Widespread sadness at the death of Fr. Treanor

Hubert Murphy

Published 19/03/2014 | 05:20

The late Fr. Eamon Treanor.

PARISHIONERS were left shocked on St. Patrick's morning following the sudden death of Dundalk native Fr. Eamon Treanor, parish priest of Kilsaran.

PARISHIONERS were left shocked on St. Patrick's morning following the sudden death of Dundalk native Fr. Eamon Treanor, parish priest of Kilsaran.

It is believed he felt unwell on Monday morning. He collapsed and died some time later.

Fr. Treanor had a long association with Ardee, where he served as a curate for some years, and also Collon, where he played a leading role in the renovation of the church.

His very first parish following his ordination 32 years ago was Mell.

Described this week as a 'true gentleman', one of his last acts was celebrating mass on LMFM radio last weekend.

A native of Dundalk, Fr. Treanor trained in St. Patrick's College Maynooth before spending his first year in Mell in the parish of Mellifont.

His first official posting, however, was in Dromintee in South Armagh where he spent five years including a difficult stage for the north at the time when the hunger strikes were taking place.

'There were times when the place was full of tension, it was a kind of fear that was tangible,' said Fr. Treanor, speaking about his experiences some years later.

'Sometimes you would walk out the door or you could be sitting in the house and there was an atmosphere in the house that was seriously disturbing; they were seriously challenging days.'

He went on to say that because of the situation in the north, the Catholic community there would have identified with their priests in a much stronger way than people in the south.

After Dromintee, Fr. Treanor moved to Castlebellingham in the parish of Kilsaran where he spent six years working in the local community.

He then returned to Northern Ireland working in the parish of Moneymore in Co. Derry where he spent two years.

'They were really frightening times, it was like the sting in the scorpion's tail at the end of the Troubles and that was a really frightening thing because people really didn't know when something like that was going to happen, it was so, so random,' he said.

In 1995, Fr Treanor moved to Ardee where he spent three years.

'On my very first appointment Cardinal O'Fiach wrote me a letter, which I still have, and there is a very apt quote in it which says: "People generally are kinder than we have the right to expect." Generally speaking, I have found that to be very true.'

Fr Treanor's next port of call was Collon, and during his time here was the renovation of Collon Church, the results of which were unveiled, ironically, on St Patrick's Day seven years ago. Later, he moved to Kilsaran.

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