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Franciscan Brother dies in Co Offaly car crash

By Sean Ryan - 20 August, 2016


The man who died in a road traffic crash in County Offaly on Thursday evening was a Franciscan brother and a native of Corrandulla in Co Galway.

Brother Michael Burke died after the car he was driving collided with a truck on the N62 at Cloghan around 4 o’clock on Thursday afternoon.

Brother Burke, who was in his 60s, was fatally injured in the collision, while the driver of the truck managed to escape injury.

The Galway native had a long history of involvement with the Franciscan Agricultural College in Mountbellew until he was promoted in the Franciscan order almost two years ago when he became Minister General of the Franciscan Brothers at Mountbellew.

He was heavily involved in the campaign to keep Mountbellew Agriculture College open in 2011.

Speaking in 2014, less than two years after campaigners were expressing fears about the viability of Mountbellew’s Franciscan Agricultural College he said of the college’s future “We expect to have over 200 students this year and that is an increase of 45 to 50 on our student numbers in recent years.”

Br Burke who served as Deputy Principal of the College added, “It’s the CAO that decides on these points but there is a huge demand for all agricultural-related courses this year and the points for our Agriculture and Environment Management courses have also increased from 330 to 350.”

Br Burke is survived by his mother Sarah, brothers Kieran, Christy, Paddy, Tommy and Johnny, sisters Mary, Nonie, Una and Sally.

His remains will repose at the Franciscan Oratory, Mountbellew, on Sunday evening from 4 to 8pm and also in the Burke Family home in Gortoe, Corrundulla, on Monday evening from 5 to 8pm.

His Requiem Mass will take place on Tuesday in Corrandulla Church at 12 noon with burial afterwards in Cregg Cemetery Co Galway.

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