Ed­u­ca­tion­playedakey­rolein the­life­ofFrFin­tanMor­ris

Bray People - - NEWS -

THERE WAS an out­pour­ing of grief right across the county last week fol­low­ing the pass­ing of Fr Fin­tan Mor­ris. A na­tive of Ti­na­hely, Co Wick­low, he most notably served the Par­ish of Kil­tealy for the past eight years where he po­si­tioned him­self right at the very heart of com­mu­nity life.

The 51-year-old had bat­tled with ill­ness for some time and he passed away on Mon­day of last week at St Vin­cent’s Hos­pi­tal in Dublin. Fr Mor­ris re­posed at St Pa­trick’s Church, Kil­tealy, so that lo­cals could pay their re­spects be­fore mak­ing the rel­a­tively short jour­ney to his na­tive Ti­na­hely for fu­neral mass on Fri­day, which was cel­e­brated by Bishop De­nis Bren­nan.

Fr Mor­ris was a priest for 26 years, hav­ing been or­dained at Killaveney, Ti­na­hely, on May 31, 1991.

From there, he fur­thered his ed­u­ca­tion fro a fur­ther three years be­fore a brief stint teach­ing at St Peter’s Col­lege in Wex­ford from 1994 to 1996.

Af­ter that, Fr Mor­ris wanted to see some of the world and he worked in Amer­cia for a year from 1996 to 1997, an ex­pe­ri­ence he en­joyed greatly. Upon his re­turn, he was made the Cu­rate for Cleariestown, a po­si­tion which he held for seven years and dur­ing which time he made some great friends in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

A great be­liever in bet­ter­ing ones self, Fr Mor­ris re­turned to his stud­ies from 2004 to 2007 and he be­came the Cu­rate for Caim in 2007, where he stayed for two years be­fore mov­ing to Kil­tealy in 2009.

A great ed­u­ca­tor, Fr Fin­tan was a staff mem­ber at Car­low Col­lege for many years where he taught his­tory. In June of 2015, he was ap­pointed Col­lege Vice Pres­i­dent along with Fr John McEvoy and in Novem­ber 2016, he was ap­pointed as a mem­ber of the Col­lege’s first Gov­ern­ing Body.

A tribute by the col­lege said: ‘Fr Fin­tan was a staff mem­ber of the Col­lege for many years and was a very pop­u­lar Lec­turer in His­tory. I know from many past stu­dents that he was very gen­er­ous in the time he gave stu­dents and his past stu­dents speak very highly of him. His pass­ing at such a young age is a great loss to his fam­ily, to his Par­ish Kil­tealy (Ballindag­gin), his Dio­cese of Ferns, and the Car­low Col­lege, St. Pa­trick’s Col­lege com­mu­nity.’

Trib­utes poured in for Fr Mor­ris through­out the week with for­mer parish­ioners de­scrib­ing him as ‘a great fam­ily friend’ and ‘a great man’.

Lead­ing the trib­utes at the large fu­neral Mass on Fri­day was Bishop De­nis Bren­nan who de­scribed a hard-work­ing and ed­u­cated man, de­voted to his du­ties. Af­ter the fu­neral Mass, he was laid to rest in the ad­join­ing ceme­tery.

Fr Fin­tan was pre­de­ceased by his brother Sea­mus and niece Holly. He was the lov­ing son of Des and Mary, brother of Michaeál, Paudge, Martin, Deirdre, Enda and Aoife and god­fa­ther to Del­phi. He is sadly missed by his lov­ing par­ents, broth­ers, sis­ters, neph­ews, nieces, broth­ers-in-law, sis­ters-in­law, aunts, un­cles, ex­tended fam­ily and friends.

He is also mourned by Bishop De­nis Bren­nan and all his brother priests in the Dio­cese of Ferns, along with his par­ish fam­ily in Kil­tealy.

May he rest in peace. THERE was deep sad­ness last month at the sud­den death of James (Jimmy) Mor­ri­son, who was the founder of the Sig­nal Arts Cen­tre in Bray.

Jim is sur­vived by his daugh­ter Brigid, sis­ter Martina, broth­ers Paul and Paddy and all of his rel­a­tives, neigh­bours and friends.

The res­i­dent of Ardee Street was a na­tive of New­bridge in County Kil­dare. He founded Sig­nal back in 1990.

At that time the Artists As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land put out a call say­ing they were about to set up so­cial em­ploy­ment schemes across the coun­try and artists would be in­cluded.

There was a thriv­ing arts com­mu­nity in Bray and they needed to get or­gan­ised.

Jim at­tended a meet­ing, and was in­spired to set up Sig­nal. He ap­proached the VEC along with Doug Ross and Brian Maguire and asked them to spon­sor the en­deav­our.

He thought he’d run it for a year and that would be it. He re­mained on the board for the in­ter­ven­ing years, and was trea­surer in re­cent years.

He worked tire­lessly to es­tab­lish Sig­nal and keep it go­ing, ded­i­cated to its suc­cess over the course of al­most three decades.

The cen­tre was set up as a com­pany in 1998. To­day the not-for­profit cen­tre has a staff of 17 and con­tin­ues to pro­vide a com­mu­nity em­ploy­ment scheme.

His con­tri­bu­tion to the arts com­mu­nity was im­mense, Sig­nal be­ing Jim’s life’s work.

As an artist, he was a painter. Jim also taught. Some of his classes in­cluded the ac­tive re­tire­ment group at the Lit­tle Flower Hall at the Holy Redeemer, as well as night classes in BIFE, and some work­shops and classes at Sig­nal.

Jim also worked on projects such as made-to-or­der coats of arms.

His Sig­nal Arts Cen­tre fam­ily will re­mem­ber him as a foun­tain of knowl­edge, and the per­son you went to if you needed help with any­thing.

His big achieve­ment was the work he did to­wards Sig­nal buy­ing the build­ing, and just seven years re­main on the mort­gage.

Just be­fore he died, he en­gaged an ar­chi­tect who is work­ing on 3D plans for a cus­tom-build arts cen­tre. There are plans now to re­de­velop the cen­tre, which will be Jim’s legacy when that comes to fruition.

Be­fore be­com­ing an artist, he was an ac­coun­tant and his at­ten­tion to de­tail and fas­tid­i­ous­ness were ev­i­dent in both ca­reers.

Jim was de­voted to his daugher Brigid (16), who lived with him half the week. Prior to his death they en­joyed a 10-day trip to Spain along with friends from Sig­nal, for the wed­ding of an ex-mem­ber in Spain.

The group said it was a joy to see the close re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two of them.

He was a great neigh­bour. Jim knew ev­ery­one in the area and was very good to his neigh­bours who will miss him very much.

He was a loyal friend and great com­pany. He en­joyed a healthy de­bate without it ever be­com­ing per­sonal and you get re­ally good, meaty ar­gu­ments with him on all sorts of topics.

He was well read, had a great mind for his­tory and pol­i­tics, and would get out the tea and sand­wiches for elec­tion night.

Jim’s fu­neral took place on Fri­day, June 16, at the Holy Redeemer in Bray, be­fore cre­ma­tion at Mount Jerome. May he rest in peace.

The late Fr Fin­tan Mor­ris.

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