Monday 26 August 2019

Fr Byrne says farewell as he marks golden jubilee

Fr Byrne bids farewell to his parishioners Lily Brennan, Bridget Doran and Mina Doran
Fr Byrne bids farewell to his parishioners Lily Brennan, Bridget Doran and Mina Doran

David Looby

There were joyful celebrations in Graiguenamanagh as Fr Gerald Byrne's golden jubilee was celebrated.

A Goresbridge native, Fr Byrne became parish priest in Graiguenamanagh 23 years ago, having taught the scriptures at Carlow College. Taking over from Monsignor Seán Swayne, he settled quickly in the town and his love for the sick and housebound became synonymous with him.

He was on the boards of the area's three schools and his quiet, trustworthy nature saw locals take to him with great warmth. This was reflected in the crowds in attendance at his Golden Jubilee mass in Duiske Abbey, where Bishop Denis Nulty and ten priests co-celebrated the occasion and a choir comprising singers from Skeoghvosteen and Graiguenamanagh performed.

Fr Byrne was joined by family and friends for the occasion, which was a joyful day for him and for the community. Many people travelled from far away to attend and show their love and appreciation for Fr Byrne, whose generous contributions to the area were recalled.

Everyone enjoyed refreshments and cakes in the Abbey Hall afterwards thanks to the efforts of the catering committee.

Fr Byrne, wanting no fuss, as he retires from being parish priest of Graiguenamanagh and Skeoghvosteen, enjoyed catching up with everyone. He received gifts and presentations from the three local schools and local committees. Fr Mark Townsend takes over as the local parish priest and Fr Byrne will provide cover, continuing to assist within the area.

New Ross Standard