Canon Tadhg O’Móráin, Cornamona, County Galway, who has died at the age of 86, was a priest of the Archdiocese of Tuam for 61 years.
In his priestly ministry he served as Chaplain in Kylemore Abbey and in the Franciscan monasteries of Clifden and Corandulla. He served as curate on Inishere (1952 - 1957), An Tulach (1957 - 1969) and Lecanvey (1969 - 1970). He returned to Aran Islands as parish priest in 1970 and served there for 14 years. In 1984 he was appointed parish priest of Louisburgh, a position he held for 13 years. He was appointed Canon of the Archdiocese in 1993 and was assistant priest in Cornamona from 1997 to 2003. After retirement he remained on in Cornamona and died on November 12 last.
Canon Tadhg, who spent most of his youth in Limerick, was a noted Irish scholar. Some of the appointments which he held gave him a very keen sense of what emigration had done to the parishes in which he had ministered, a point made by Archbishop Michael Neary who presided and preached the homily at Fr Tadhg’s funeral Mass in the Sacred Heart Church in Cornamona. More than 40 priests concelebrated the Mass. Archbishop Neary said Canon Tadhg had sensed the loneliness of these who had emigrated and those who were left behind. When he travelled abroad he made a point of making contact with emigrants, whether it was in the United States or England. If there was a reunion of people from his parish overseas Canon Tadhg was always there, bringing back news of how they were getting on to folks back home. “In a year that we are planning the great ‘Gathering’, Tadhg was way before his time in organising many a gathering for the diaspora” said Archbishop Neary.
Dr Neary added the following tribute to Canon Tadhg: “Right throughout his priestly life Canon Tadhg was with his people, sharing their joys at weddings and baptisms, First Holy Communions but he was also there in difficult times of sickness and death, worry and bereavement. The Eucharist is central in the life of every priest and for 61 years Tadhg celebrated the Eucharist daily. He prepared conscientiously for the celebration by times of silent adoration.
Visiting him shortly before his death he spoke of the strength which he derived from the Eucharist, enabling him to take on difficult tasks in contentious areas of education and facilitating Boards of Management of primary schools. In those situations he indicated that once they were over they never impinged on him or deprived him of his peace of mind. He never allowed the debate or difficult negotiations to be reduced to personalities. He was gifted with an extraordinary ability to debate ideas without allowing these to interfere with his relationships with people. He acknowledged that through the Eucharist he enjoyed his priesthood and continued to be a man of irrepressible hope despite what might be happening in the Church or the world”.
At the conclusion of his eulogy Dr Neary acknowledged the great kindness shown to Canon Tadhg by An tAhair Peadar O’Conghaile and tAhair Billy Reilly.
Canon Tadhg was laid to rest in the Sacred Heart Church grounds in Cornamona. Donations in his memory may by made to the Knock Special Fund, c/o Burkes’ Funeral Directors, Clonbur.
He is mourned by his sisters Lillian Sullivan and Sheila Hehir, nephew Len Hehir, other family relatives, Archbishop Michael Neary and the priests of the Archdiocese of Tuam, friends and formers parishioners.
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