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Newtown’s Fr Michael marks golden milestone

Fr Michael

Fr Michael King (back row, second left) entered the Irish College, Rome in 1962 and was ordained a Priest on the 9th March 1968

THERE will be an evening of celebration in Newtownbutler this Friday to mark the golden jubilee of popular parish priest Fr Michael King.
The event will take place exactly 50 years to the day since Fr Michael was ordained a priest on the 9th March 1968.
A special Mass of Celebration will take place at 7pm in St Mary’s Church as parishioners from Donagh and Newtownbutler gather to mark the occasion which will be followed by refreshments in the Creighton Hotel in Clones.
Fr Michael was born on 24th April 1943 in Doohamlet, a village between Castleblayney and Ballybay
in Co Monaghan and was one of ten children.
He is now blessed with a large network of family who are scattered near home and in Athlone, Carlingford and England.
He attended St. Macartan’s College in Monaghan before entering the Irish College in Rome in 1962. He was one of nine men ordained a priest six years later, aged 24.
A well-known figure throughout Fermanagh, Fr Michael had previously administered at Carrickroe (Errigal Truagh), Derrygonnelly (Botha), Enniskillen and Aghadrumsee (Clones).
For the last 30 years he has been based in Galloon Parish and took on his present role of parish priest in 1996.
Two of his contemporaries have since passed on – Fr Gerry Treacy and Tipperary native Archbishop Michael Courtney, who was shot dead aged 58 in Burundi in December 2003. He was the Papal Nuncio to the African nation at the time and died after his car was ambushed by gunmen.
There will no doubt be plenty of Fermanagh parishioners in attendance on Friday night as Fr Micheal (74) has ministered in the county for 47 years.
He told the Herald this week: “I have been based in Fermanagh since 1971 and I have happy memories of all the parishes in which I’ve served.
“People are always very supportive and stand by you. I have to laugh when people often sympathise with me and say that I’m working very hard!”
“The last 50 years seem like a flash and have went by very fast.
“When I was giving my first blessing on the day of my ordination, I didn’t think I would see 50 years down the line.”
Looking ahead to Friday night, he added: “I hope it will be a very simple event to mark this milestone as I’m not someone who loves the limelight.”

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