Parish of Priests Of Kilmore

Parish of Priests Of KilmoreDespite the expulsion of Catholics from the parish of Kilmore, those who remained were still a strong community and shared in the general increase of population throughout Ireland in the early 19th century. The Religious Returns of 1836 showed that Kilmore had then 2,432 Catholics. 3,771 Church of Ireland members, 711 Presbyterians and 530 other Protestant Dissenters. It reported that there was one Catholic Church where Mass was said once on every Sunday and holy day.

The sequence of parish priests from the beginning of the 19th century presents little difficulty.

Father John Donnelly PP, a native of Co. Tyrone, and previously P.P. of Errigal Kieran, transferred from Kilmore to Creggan Lower about 1820 and retired in 1830; he died in 1836.

Father Francis Smyth, PP.1820-34. He died on 18th May 1834 aged 46 and is buried in Ballyeglish, in his native porish.

Father Patrick Quinn, P.P. 1835-47. He was transferred to Beragh where he died in 1850, He was buried in Arboe. presumably his native parish.

Father John Irwin, P.P. 1847-79. He was transferred to Tandragee in 1859 but having inspected his new parish refused to leave Kilmore. He died on 8th February 1879 aged 71. A letter written by him to Primate Dixon still survives in the Armagh Diocesan Archives.

Father Michael Loughron, P.P. 1879-1907. He died at the age of 66 on 17th January 1907 and is buried in Mullavilly.

Father Henry McBride, P.P. 1907-1914. He died on 10th December 1914. He is the only parish priest who had previously been curate in the parish.

Father Felix McNeese, 9.9. 1915-21. He was subsequently P.P. of Tynan where he died on 29th December 1930. Strongly, republican in his political views he was chairman of the priests’ committee which welcomed Archbishop Mannixto Dublin in 1925.

Father Edmund Mackin. P.P. 1921-50. A native of the parish of Creggan Lower where one of his ancestors, known to tradition as “Big Joe the latiner’ had carried on a classical school during the mid 19th century he lived to be the oldest priest in the archdiocese of Armagh, and died on 29th October 1950.

Father Edward O’Connor, 9.9. 1950-66. A well-known supporter of all things Irish he was famous for his wit and repartee and wrote a successful patriotic drama ‘Few Men Faithful’. He spent much of his earlier life as curate in Camlough and Ballymacnab, and died on 21 st July 1966. 1966.

Father Eugene Donaghy, P.P. -1966-72 A native of the parish of Creggan Upper (Crossmaglen) and a member of a family prominent in G.A.A. affairs, he spent many years as curate in Arboe. Died 15th October 1972.

Bishop Francis Lenny P.P. 1972-78. Born in Cookstown. Studied in St. Patrick’s College, Armagh and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Ordained 21st June 1953. Studied at Dunboyne Institute, Maynooth 1953-55. Diocesan Secretary in Armagh 1955-72. Parish Priest Kilmore 1972-78. Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh 1974. Died at Mullavilly 16th July 1978.

Father Kieran McKeone. P.P. Kilmore 1978 – 1984. Born in the Parish of Carrickmore. Studied at St. Patrick’s College, Armagh and St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Ordained 18th June 1950. Brentwood, England 1950/51. Chaplain Mount Oliver Convent 1951. Curate Mellifont 1951-56. Curate Pomeroy 1956-70. Curate Cookstown 1970-78. Parish Priest Kilmore 1978

Father Kieran MacOscar. P.P 1984 – 2005 Born in Tigran, Desertmartin, County Derry. Studied at St Patrick’s College , Armagh and St Patrick’s College Maynooth. Ordained 20th June 1954. Temporary Appointments 1954 – 55. Assistant Priest, Ardee 1955 – 58 Curate Kilmore 1958 – 60. Curate Beragh 1960 – 73, Curate Derrynoose 1973 – 84. Parish Priest Kilmore 1984 – 2005 Associate Pastor 2005-2009

Father John Connolly Adm  2005 – 2009

Father Michael Toner PP  2009 – 2012

Father Oliver Brennan PP 2012 –