"TODAY, I return to Kiskeam to give thanks to God for half a century of priestly ministry, and to acknowledge my indebtedness to the church here in 'Kiskeam and that way back' for the fine example of faith and prayer that inspired me from the very beginning to become a Redemptorist priest," said Fr. John O'Riordan as he addressed the congregation during his golden jubilee Mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart in his native Kiskeam last Sunday.
Born in the townland of Knockavoreen, Fr. John was ordained to the Redemptorist order in 1963. He subsequently served in Limerick, Athenry, and Dundalk, and also conducted parish missions in all the 32 counties of Ireland, throughout England and Scotland, and at times even further afield.
He is also a gifted author, whose literary masterpiece on the life and work of local poet Edward Walsh, 'A Tragic Troubadour', is internationally acclaimed.
Fr. John's first foray into writing was prompted by the death of his mother, after which he penned 'Kiskeam and That Way Back' in 1969. "When she died, I knew an awful lot of precious folklore went with her," Fr John told the Corkman, "and I figured if this continued we would lose an awful lot, so I started collecting straight away and put it all together in the book".
'Kiskeam Versus the Empire' followed in 1985, and an absolutely must have volume for Kiskeam natives everywhere; ' Where Araglen So Gently Flows' was published in 1989.
Fr. John also has five books on Celtic spirituality to his credit, and his most recent work is a book on St. Patrick, which he completed last year.
He is now stationed back in Limerick where he began his work as a Redemptorist in 1963.
Following his golden jubilee Mass, Fr John was joined by family, neighbours, and friends for a get together at Kiskeam Community Centre. EXCITING cultural talent emerged from the Kanturk Credit Union sponsored Duhallow Scór Sinsear Finals hosted at Kanturk Golf Club last Friday night.
Competing clubs from Boherbue, St John's, Millstreet, Freemount and Dromtaiffe participated in a mixed programme of cultural entertainment. St. John's sampled a quartet of outright wins with Boherbue collecting a pair of titles. Elsewhere, Millstreet and Dromtariffe also had outright wins.
Duhallow Cultural Officer Jerry Doody applauded the fare on offer with adjudicator Mona O'Riordan commending the Duhallow divisional scór group on promoting cultural activity amongst GAA clubs.
Duhallow Junior Board Chairman Richard Murphy hailed the efforts of clubs on contributing to the successful staging with divisional board Treasurer Tony McAulliffe acting as Fear An Ti.