Exhumation and reburial of two deans
THE remains of two former deans of Mitchelstown parish have been exhumed from the former Presentation convent grounds and re-buried in the local church yard.
When the Presentation Sisters left Mitchelstown in 2003 it was not possible to locate the remains of two former parish priests buried in the convent chapel.
After a very long, time consuming search both remains were recently found.
With the permission of the new owner, and in accordance with health board regulations, and with the sanction of Cork County Council, both remains of deans Morgan O'Brien and Mahony were reverently exhumed on Wednesday, December 11 and were re-buried in the church yard, beside the burial plot of the late Canon John Sheehan.
Bishop Crean was informed of the exhumations. Canon Fitzgerald, Canon O'Leary and Fr. Greene led the graveside prayers.
O'Brien Undertakers, Mitchelstown took care of the arrangements and the grave digger was Denis Roche assisted by Tom O'Donoghue.
Local man Tom O'Keeffe voluntarily conducted the search over a number of years and led the exhumation itself.
As the convent has continued to deteriorate, the exhumation became more urgent.
Dean Morgan O'Brien was born in Youghal in 1798. He served as parish priest in Mitchelstown from 1845 to 1868.
A detailed account of the enormous service he gave to the parish is laid out in a book published in 2009, entitled 'The Turbulent Life of Dean Morgan O'Brien'. The author of the book is former CBS secondary school teacher Mr Tom O'Donnell.
Dean Morgan O'Brien's work is particularly significant as he completed the building of the parish church tower, and he led the building and completion of both Kilacluig and Ballygiblin churches.
He introduced the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers to the parish.
A detailed account of all his works and trials are laid out in the book.
As of now, very little is known of the late Dean Mahony. He succeeded Dean O'Brien in 1869, until his death in April 1881.
He also served in Coachford and Inniscarra, before being appointed to Mitchelstown.
He was the one to continue and maintain the enormous work of Dean O'Brien.
To mark the event of the re-burial the 12 p.m. Mass on this Sunday, December 22 will be offered for both priests.