Death of priest who devoted life to rural parish

THERE was widespread sorrow this week at the news of the death of Canon Patrick Lonergan, retired parish priest of Belleek and Garrison.
Canon Lonergan died in the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen after a short illness.
Described as ‘an iconic figure’  he was one of the main influences in the establishment of St Mary’s High School, Brollagh in the 1960s and later played a major part in the building of the new Mary Queen of Peace Church in Garrison which opened in the early 1970s.
The Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Larry Duffy, paid tribute to Canon Lonergan’s long years of faithful service as a priest in the diocese. 
“Fr Paddy loyally served the parishioners of the various parishes he was sent to serve in and he is fondly remembered by them.”
The Brollagh High School Parents Council expressed its sympathy to the family of Canon Lonergan describing him as ‘an iconic figure and very special person within our parish.’ 
“His foresight and vision along with hard work delivered a post-primary school in one of the most rural areas back in 1965.”
Devenish GAA club sympathising said, “As a player, administrator, sponsor and supporter, Canon Lonergan served Devenish with distinction.”
He was a huge GAA follower and was President of Devenish GAA club, helping to set up the Devenish Ladies football and camogie teams. He arrived in Garrison in 1960 and began a long association with the Devenish club until 1977 when he left the parish, returning in 1985.
He was club chairman from 1962-1972, was an inter-county hurling referee, and was  vice-chairman of Fermanagh County Board and was also a member of the Ulster Council of the GAA .
A native of Carrickmacross he received his education at St Macartan’s College Monaghan and St Patrick’s College Maynooth and was ordained a priest in 1957. He served in Dromore, Ederney, Garrison, Irvinestown and Newtownbutler.
Canon Lonergan is survived by his brother John, sisters-in-law Moira and Bernie.. Following Requiem Mass in Mary Queen of Peace Church in Garrison on Monday the burial took place to the adjoining graveyard. 

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