Sunday 18 February 2018

Tributes paid to beloved priest and former GAA star who passed away while on holiday

Fr Tom Colreavy
Fr Tom Colreavy
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A large number of mourners are expected at the funerals next week of a beloved priest and former GAA star who passed away while on holiday in South Africa.

Fr Tom Colreavy, a native of Gortletteragh, Co Leitrim, died suddenly early last Monday while on holiday in Cape Town.

Such was the level of esteem that he was held in both his adopted home in north Dublin and his native parish in Co Leitrim that separate funerals will be held in each parish.

His death came as a shock to his family, friends and fellow parishioners at St Paul’s Church in Ayrfield, Dublin, where he celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest in 2013 following 50 years in the priesthood.

"This has come as a shock to his family and friends, we keep them all in our thoughts and prayers at this time," the church said in a statement.

Fr Tom was also highly regarded by GAA supporters in his home county where he was an integral part of the "great Leitrim teams of the late 1950s," according to Leitrim GAA which paid tribute to him following the announcement of his death.

The former fullback who played in the Connacht finals in 1957-59 was described as "the first familiar face you would recognise at many gatherings that have occurred in almost six decades that have passed subsequently".

"A staunch Leitrim supporter, Fr Tom had an avid interest in the fortunes of all Leitrim teams over the years in addition to those of his native Gortletteragh. He was essentially a great people person and, despite his pastoral workload in a busy Dublin parish, you would never be surprised to see him at events, be they happy or sad, in his native county, such were the network of contacts and friendships that he had built up over many, many years."

The St Laurence O’Toole’s GAA club in Dublin also paid tribute to him as a great patron of the club "who was greatly loved within the parish. He will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of meeting him".

Fr Tom is survived by his sister Kathleen, brothers Hugh, Michael, Jack and Seamus and extended family.

He will repose at his home at Ard na Gréine, Ayrfield from 2pm to 6pm on Sunday followed by removal to St Paul’s Church, Ayrfield, for Requiem Mass at noon on Monday.

He will then make his final journal to his home town of Gortletteragh, Co Leitrim where Requiem Mass will be held at noon on Tuesday at  St Mary’s Church, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery.

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