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Priest killed in car crash was ‘man of the people’

Fr Joe McCluskey. ©Rory Geary

The community of Aghadrumsee has been shocked at the sudden death of a priest who served them for nine years.
Fr Joseph (Joe) McCluskey died as a result of a road traffic accident on the N2 road between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross last week.
As well as serving in Aghadrumsee Fr McCluskey also served as administrator of Dromore between 1989 and 1992 and in Scotshouse between 1979 and 1989.
At his funeral on Monday the diocesan administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Mgr Joseph McGuinness, said as his fellow priests, they also knew and appreciated the sincerity and kindness that came with his quiet disposition, his ability to make friends and to keep friends and his unflappable good humour.
A priest colleague from a nearby parish described him as ‘a priest man’.
“His life was the people. In fact earlier on the day of his tragic death he had been attending sick. He was that kind of man.”
“Anyone who was sick, whether at home, in hospital or in a nursing home, or was in any kind of trouble, he was with them on their journey.
“He could talk to people and he was a good listener. He was very cherished by his fellow priests.”
For hobbies Fr McCluskey was fond of golf and cards.
A parishioner, who didn’t wish to be named said he had been very well liked by parishioners when he was in Aghadrumsee.
“He was there for 10 years in the 70s and was extremely easy to get on with. He was really a man of the people,” he said. “He was a friendly, helpful and considerate individual who endeared himself to the community.”
During his time at Aghadrumsee his hobbies included hunting with friends, playing card, being a regular in Joe Grew’s card playing school and enjoyed watching the local football team.
Fr McCluskey was a native of Carrickahogue in the Raferagh area of Carrickmacross parish, where he was born in February 1939. He was educated at Corcreaghy National School and St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, before pursuing his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1957.
He was ordained at Maynooth on 21 June 1964. Following Requiem Mass on Monday the burial was to St John’s Cemetery, Raferagh.


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