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Warm Westport welcome for newly ordained priest

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WESTPORT BOUND Fr Shane Costello pictured at his ordination last week.

Fr Shane Costello is the only diocesan priest to be ordained as four priests retire and seven die

Áine Ryan

AS the Archbishop of Tuam announced the appointments for 2020, a unique piece of history was made when, on Sunday, August 23, the only diocesan priest to be ordained in the country was Fr Shane Costello of Taugheen, Claremorris. (The Jesuit order also ordained two priests here in Ireland this year).
In a year when seven priests from the archdiocese passed away, this ordination has been seen as a beacon of hope and is particularly good news for the parish of Westport, where the new priest will minister.
Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday), Fr Charlie McDonnell ADM said: “We look forward to Fr Shane starting with us on September 26. He is already familiar with the parish and was very helpful when Fr Gerard [Quirke] had his accident earlier this year. Fr Shane was already on pastoral duties here as part of his last year studying which means the transition will be easy for him.”
Speaking also about the parish’s former curate, Fr Gerard Quirke, who had a serious cycling accident in June, he confirmed ‘his recovery is ongoing after a very difficult few months’.
“I saw him last week and he looks very well and is in good form as he prepares for his new appointment in Achill,” Fr Charlie said.
“We really wish him all the best. He came to Westport at a very difficult time, in the aftermath of Fr Patrick Burke’s sudden death and really made a great contribution to the parish. On a personal note, I’m really going to miss him.”
Appointments and retirements
ANNOUNCING a slew of new appointments which will take effect from September 25 next last weekend, Archbishop Neary has confirmed the following four retirements: Very Rev John Canon Fallon, AP, Kilmaine; Very Rev John Canon Walsh, PP, Aghamore; Very Rev Joseph Canon O’ Brien, PP, Abbeyknockmoy; Very Rev Patrick Mooney, PP, Glenamaddy/Williamstown.
As mentioned above, Fr Gerard Quirke is to become the new CC for Achill and newly-ordained Fr Shane Costello to replace him as CC of Westport; Very Rev Ronnie Boyle, PP, Letterfrack is to become PP, Abbeyknockmoy; Rev Eugene O’Boyle, CC, Achill to become PP, Glenamaddy/Williamstown; Rev Jerald David, CC, pro-tem Athenry, is to become Administrator  of Aghamore Parish and CC, Knock; Rev Anthaiah Pudota, Administrator Kilconly to become Administrator Letterfrack; Rev Frank Conlisk, SPS, to become Administrator Milltown and Kilconly.

Did you know?
In 2016, there were 103 priests in the Archdiocese of Tuam, with 69 of them aged over 60 and 20 aged over 80.