By Cian Molloy - 04 December, 2017
The Diocese of Clogher is in mourning following the death in a car accident of retired parish priest Fr Joe McCluskey, whose funeral takes place today, (Monday), at noon.
“We have lost a deeply committed and faithful priest whose gentle devotion and kindness endeared him to his fellow priests and to all the people whom he served,” said Clogher’s diocesan administrator Mgr Joseph McGuinness on hearing of the news.
Fr Joe, aged 78, was killed when his car was involved in a collision with an articulated lorry on the N2, near McCaughey’s filling station, between Carrickmacross and Castleblaney on Wednesday 29th November.
After studying at St Macartan’s College in Monaghan, and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Fr Joe was ordained in 1964 and his first clerical appointment was as curate in the Clara area of the north Monaghan parish of Errigal Truagh. He served there until his transfer to Aghadrumsee in the Clones parish in 1970 and nine years later he was moved to Scotshouse and the Parish of Killeevan-Currin-Aghabog. In 1989 he was appointed Administrator of the Parish of Dromore, a position he held until 1992 when he became parish priest of Kilmore and Drumsnatt, which is centred on Threemilehouse in Monaghan. There he served for 23 years as Parish Priest, until his retirement two years ago, but even after retirement he continued to serve the faithful when he moved to Killanny, where he was held in high regard.
His local GAA club, Killanny Geraldines GFC, posted this message on its website, “The Community of Killanny is in great shock and sadness after hearing the news of the sudden passing of our priest, Fr Joe Mc Cluskey, in a tragic road accident. Fr Joe was held in high esteem in our parish.”
Indeed, Fr Joe very much enjoyed the unique peculiarities of his final home, noting on the Killanny parish website: “We cross two county boundaries and two provincial borders. Our Parish consists of 50 town-lands, 31 of these are in Co. Monaghan and Ulster, and 19 of them are in Co. Louth and the province of Leinster.”
The parish has just over 400 families and a Catholic population of just under 1,000. After reposing in Killanny’s parochial house, Fr Joe’s remains were received in St Enda’s Church yesterday afternoon and his funeral takes place at midday.
Extending his heartfelt sympathy to Fr Joe’s sisters, and his nephews and nieces and to the parishioners of Killanny and of Kilmore and Drumsnatt, Mgr McGuinness prayed, “May the loving kindness of God, so beautifully reflected in the ministry of Fr Joe, support and console us at this time.”
Fr Joe’s Funeral Mass will be streamed live on https://www.churchservices.tv/killanny at 12 noon