Popular parish priest ‘on mend’ in hospital

THERE have been prayers and well-wishes for a local parish priest who is recovering in hospital after falling ill last week. 
There was great concern for Fr Maurice McMorrow PP in his parish of Killesher and Kinawley at the weekend when news emerged he had taken ill. The Herald has since been assured that, after undergoing surgery, Fr McMorrow is now on the mend. 
Fr Gerry Alwill, PP in Fr McMorrow’s neighbouring parish of Knockninny, has been helping cover in Fr McMorrow’s absence, standing for his friend at a weekend wedding and at Sunday Mass on St Patrick’s Day. 
Fr Alwill, who is friends with Fr McMorrow after having also “soldiered together” in their previous parishes in Leitrim, said he had been speaking with Fr McMorrow on Friday and “he was in grand form.” 
“I wish him a speedy recovery and I was happy to provide a bit of cover for the wedding and for the Mass at the weekend,” said Fr Alwill. 
Fr McMorrow’s illness came as a shock to those who knew him as the priest, who celebrated his silver jubilee in 2013, is well known for his healthy, outdoor lifestyle. Aside from his clerical duties, he is a keen farmer and “he would be out running after sheep and lambs and all the rest of it.” 
Fr McMorrow, who had previously served in the Teemore area of Knockninny parish several years ago, took up the role of PP in Killesher and Kinawley around 18 months ago, at the same time Fr Alwill took over in Knockninny from Fr Fintan Kiernan. Fr Kiernan has since retired, and it is understood he too is currently recovering from an illness. 
On Monday, Teemore GAA wished both priests well. 
“The club would like to wish Fr Fintan McKiernan and Fr Maurice McMorrow, both past priests in our area, a speedy recovery from their recent illnesses,” said a spokesman. 
Last November Fr McMorrow was among a long list of notable signatories to a letter sent to An Taoiseach calling on the North to be protected during Brexit negotiations. Fr McMorrow said he was not being partisan by signing the letter, but as the PP in a border parish he was concerned for the future of the peace process. 

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