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.