The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition)
Fr John says his sad goodbyes to local parishioners
ON WEDNESDAY, July 22, Fr John Shanahan the Parish Priest of Valentia Island for the past 22 years, officially retired. A native of Beaufort, he came to Valentia in July 1993 having been appointed by Bishop Diarmuid O’Suilleabháin.
It was to be his eighth and last appointment and the longest of them all which was only surpassed in longevity by Fr Patrick Maginn, a Cavan native, who served here for 50 years and passed away in 1869. Fr Shanahan says that he has been very happy here since 1993.
He has, since his ordination in 1964, served in many parishes. Oxford in the Archdiocese of Birmingham was his first parish after which he was recalled in 1968. He came to Valentia in the late sixties for six weeks to temporarily replace the existing Parish Priest Fr Beasley, who was ill.
He subsequently spent a year in Millstreet going on to Firies and back to Millstreet. He left Millstreet for Ballinskelligs in 1968 where he spent three years. Fr Shanahan then spent nine years in Ballymacelligott
He left Ballymacelligott in 1979 to go to Castlegregory where he spent 10 years moving then to Abbeydorney/Kilflynn before arriving in Valentia in 1993.
“In the years that I have spent here I want to thank you all for your support, morally, payerfully and financially.I appreciated in particular the kindness and encouragement that I received here,” Fr Shanahan states.
On Thursday night of July 23, the parishioners of Valentia came together in the Royal Hotel to attend a dinner with Fr Shanahan to honour his retirement.
The MC for the night was Patrick Lyne of Cooil who thanked him for his services to the parish down through the years.
Other speakers who acknowledged his contribution to parish affairs were Michael Egan (Knightstown Tidy Towns committee), Donal O’Donoghue (Tigh An Oileáin), Margaret Daly (Matron of the Valentia Community Hospital) John Daly (Principal of Scoil Derarca) and Mick O’Connell (the former Kerry footballer).
All good future wishes are extended to Fr.Shanahan on his future retirement days.