Tragic priest (39) will be 'missed immensely'
TRIBUTES have been paid to a priest described as a "true gentleman" following his sudden tragic death.
Fr Muredach Tuffy (39) was heavily involved in community work in Ballina, Co Mayo where he worked as a curate and was director of the religious education centre -- the Newman Institute.
It is understood no foul play is suspected in the death of the theologian whose body was discovered on Tuesday morning in his apartment at the institute.
Mayo youth mental health group 'Mind Your Mind' said they were "truly saddened" by the sudden loss.
"He was so good to our team, to the 'Mind your Mind' campaign and always facilitated us to the best of his ability," the group stated.
"He was a true gentleman in the community and always a helping hand to anyone who needed it. He will be missed immensely."
Residents in the Ballina community expressed their shock at the death. A close friend said there were no indications there was anything amiss with Fr Tuffy in recent weeks.
The Bishop of Killala, Dr John Fleming, was yesterday meeting with Fr Tuffy's family.
Parishioners and those he had married in recent years all posted tributes and recollections of him on a tribute page set up online by 'Mind Your Mind'.
Fr Tuffy was well known throughout the western region through his work with the Newman Institute since he was appointed its director in 2003.
In addition to lecturing in theology on the institute's courses, he also oversaw a major redevelopment and building project.
In addition to this, he acted as assistant priest in the parish of Kilmoremoy in Ballina, was a spokesman for Bishop of Killala and took on the role of vocations director for the diocese.
He also trained parish pastoral councils and was a member of the National Diocesan Vocations Team. Fr Tuffy was ordained in Castleconnor, Co Sligo in 1999.
Fr Tuffy's body will be in repose at McGowan's Funeral Home Ballina this evening before removal to St Joseph's Church, Castleconnor, for Mass tomorrow morning.