Sunday 20 January 2019

Murdered publican's son ordained a deacon

Matthew Farrell with Bishop Denis Nulty at his ordination in St Saviour’s Church, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Matthew Farrell with Bishop Denis Nulty at his ordination in St Saviour’s Church, Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Matt Farrell, who was killed in his pub in Daingean, Co Offaly

Sarah MacDonald

The son of a well-known Co Offaly publican who died after he was violently robbed nine years ago was yesterday ordained a deacon in Dublin.

Matthew Farrell (42), from Daingean, is a member of the Dominican order.

He is due to be ordained a priest next year.

He worked in his family pub before taking up work as a laboratory analyst after gaining a degree in applied chemistry.

He comes from a family of three girls and two boys.

At St Saviour's Church, Dublin, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin Denis Nulty told the congregation of family and friends that he was "very sensitive to the memory of Matthew's late parents Matt and Maisie".

Almost nine years ago to the day on the morning of April 1, 2009, Matthew discovered the body of his father, Matt Snr, who owned the Gaelic Bar in Daingean.

The 64-year-old had died overnight after being struck on the head.

His hands were tied behind his back.

Gardaí believe his death was linked to a botched robbery on his pub.

For most of his life, he had held down two jobs, working as a fitter for Bord na Móna in Ballycon, in addition to running his pub.

At the time of his death, he had just handed over the running of the Gaelic Bar to his two sons, Matthew and David.

In 2012, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court acquitted Eddie Wing of the manslaughter of the Co Offaly publican, after the jury rejected the evidence of the main prosecution witness who was described in court as a "jailhouse informant".

Matthew Farrell, in the aftermath of these tragic and shocking events for his family, took the path into religious life in 2012.

Yesterday he was ordained to the diaconate along with Brother Jesse Maingot (30), of Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies.

Mr Farrell's family members, including brother David and sisters Lorraine and Michelle, grandmother Maisie and godmother Fidelma attended the ordination at the Dominican church.

Meanwhile, Brother Maingot's parents, Roger and Abigail, travelled from Trinidad for the ceremony.

In his homily, Dr Nulty said Brother Matthew and Brother Jesse were not being ordained into a 'men's club'. This was apparently a reference to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin's comment on Easter Sunday about misogyny in the Church.

"From the earliest birth of our Church at that dawn visit to the sepulchre, women continue to play a central part in our Church," Dr Nulty added.

"It is most unfortunate that so often the image portrayed of our Church is something that is overwhelmingly male and predominantly clerical," he added.

Dominican Fr Bernard Treacy told the Irish Independent that Brother Matthew and Brother Jesse will continue their studies in theology as part of the journey towards being ordained priests in the summer of 2019.

Irish Independent

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