A distinguished Jesuit priest who was a pioneer in promoting church unity, Michael Hurley, died in Dublin yesterday, aged 87.
Fr Hurley co-founded the Irish School of Ecumenics -- a major centre for inter-church studies, which received university status -- in 1970, and served as director until 1980.
In 1981 he conceived a plan to set up an ecumenical community of Catholics and Protestants living together in Northern Ireland. Fr Hurley made that vision a reality in 1983 when he co-founded the Columbanus Community of Reconciliation on the Antrim Road, north Belfast.
Born in Ardmore, Co Waterford, Fr Hurley joined the Jesuits in 1940.