COLUMN: Is there anything after this?

IN THE 1980s when I worked as a priest in a town in Fermanagh, I lived next door to a couple who were rather traditional, conservative Catholics. I wouldn’t have thought of myself as their type of priest as I was a product of the post-Vatican 2 church which for a very brief period flirted with some […]

Fermanagh priest Fr Gary Donegan awaiting third surgery

JUST hours after he underwent surgery on his eye, Fr Gary Donegan has confirmed that he’s going to have to go under the knife again later this month. Since December, the Fermanagh cleric has been undergoing treatment on his right eye, in a bid to save and secure his sight. The Newtownbutler priest underwent surgery […]

Time for a Helping Hand

BACK in the 1980’s any decent Catholic was expected to go to confessions at least once a month and weekly for the more devout, whether you had sinned or not. As a clerical student at Maynooth College, it was easy for me to confess as we were assigned a spiritual director whom I could visit whenever […]

Fr Gary Donegan set to undergo second surgery today

FERMANAGH cleric Fr Gary Donegan is set to undergo surgery today (Wednesday) after he suffered ‘another bleed’ in his eye. In December, the Newtownbutler priest revealed that he had to have an operation to restore the sight in his right eye after losing his vision a few weeks ago when a bleed to it caused extensive damage. […]

Time for a helping hand

“HAND” said the booming voice of the middle-aged cleric who lay on my bed in Rhetoric House, Maynooth Seminary back in 1974. “Hand, McLáimh, I’m afraid that name does not have a good reputation in clerical circles. Your pedigree is not very good I’m sorry to say.” The man who uttered these words was the […]

Mary McAleese calls for end of celibacy

FORMER President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has said there will be no priests left in the Western world in 30 years’ time unless the Catholic Church ends celibacy and the bar on married priests. Ms McAleese, currently chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, made the comments after Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, an adviser to Pope Francis and highly influential […]

Celebrating ancient crafts in honour of St Brigid

IT MAY not be a bank holiday on this side of the border, but communities across Fermanagh are preparing to mark St Brigid’s Day tomorrow (Thursday), a national feast with orgins long pre-dating even the Christian saint it celebrates. In schools and homes across the county and its surrounding areas this week, hands will be busy making the traditional crosses […]

Time for a helping hand

In 1974 during the Easter holidays of my final year at boarding school a vocational workshop was organised for boys thinking of becoming a priest. Anyone that way inclined had to stay over for the weekend while all the other boys went home on holidays. As someone attracted to the idea of becoming a priest, […]