Pass­ing of Ohio based Priest

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

THE death has oc­curred in Cleve­land, Ohio of Easkey na­tive, Fa­ther Tom Flynn (86) af­ter a pro­tracted ill­ness. Fr Tom was the el­dest of four sons of Tommy Flynn from Easkey, Sligo and An­nie nee Feeney from Kil­largue, Leitrim.

Four Feeney sis­ters em­i­grated to Cleve­land Ohio in their teens fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of their cousins, the McKen­nas from Dro­mory, Ballingar Leitrim. An­nie met and mar­ried Tommy Flynn in Cleve­land. The el­dest of the Feeney sis­ters em­i­grated be­fore the youngest brother Sonny as born. A re­union was ar­ranged by Fr Tom in 1985. Mar­garet was ninety two and Sonny was seventy two. Their meeting was tele­vised on Amer­i­can tele­vi­sion. Fr Tom was or­dained into the priest­hood in 1960. He was re­spon­si­ble for the fundrais­ing and over­see­ing of the build­ing of the church and par­ish vil­lage in North Olm­stead in Cleve­land. He served the parishes of

St. Mel, St. Rita, St. Richard and St. Mark and founded The Church of St. Clarence in 1978. Aunts, un­cles and cousins rel­ished the vis­its of Fr Tom in the six­ties and sev­en­ties to Kil­largue, New­town­manor, Easkey and Aughris Head. He was left a site in Aughris Head by an aunt and built a house there. Fr Tom al­ways vis­ited a few times ev­ery year and he would in­vite fam­ily, friends, neigh­bours and his McCann cousins to his house where he cel­e­brated Mass and par­tied in the Cleve­land room, a large func­tion room in his house. Fr Tom was a won­der­ful cook and pre­pared food like a TV chef up un­til his ill­ness struck eigh­teen months ago. Tra­di­tional mu­sic, set and ceili danc­ing and song was his forte. He per­formed the mar­riage cer­e­mony for many of his rel­a­tives. Known as the par­ty­ing padre in Ohio, Fr Tom pro­duced records in the six­ties and sev­en­ties which are now avail­able on You Tube. He cel­e­brated Mass at the Holy Well in Kil­largue on the 15 th Au­gust on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions. He loved vis­it­ing his cousins, the Fow­leys in New­town­manor, and took pride in their mu­si­cal ac­com­plish­ments. Fr Tom over­saw the fa­mous Emer­ald Ball in Cleve­land for 39 years and he was the pas­tor on the fa­mous Ger­tie Byrne cruises. Fr Tom loved Sligo town and al­ways vis­ited Dooneys, Mul­laneys and Maura McTier­nan in Si­mones for a chat, ev­ery time he vis­ited Ire­land. He at­tended the Failte Cheoil when­ever he could and danced and sang in McHugh’s bar in Sligo in 2016. He died on 26 th Au­gust and his fu­neral and burial took place in Cleve­land, Ohio. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


Pic­tured is Róisín Don­nelly (cen­tre), Tir­eragh Guides, Skreen who was among 137 Girl Guides who re­ceived the Trail Blazer Na­tional Guide Award – Ir­ish Girl Guides’ high­est award – at a spe­cial cer­e­mony in Croke Park re­cently. Also pic­tured are Ir­ish Girl Guides Pres­i­dent Maureen Mur­phy and As­sis­tant Chief Com­mis­sioner Aine Divilly.

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