Tributes to popular Wexford priest

The death has occurred of Very Rev. Hugh O’Byrne, aged 78, of Moortown, Bridgetown, who was a popular priest for more than 50 years and ministered for 22 years as parish priest of Blackwater until his retirement due to personal health issues four years ago.

VERY REV. HUGH O’BYRNE (Pic; Wexford Parish Facebook)

Many tributes have been posted on social media since news of his passing were announced today. “A lovely man who loved people” read one comment, others remembered memories of their marriage, school days, and other special occasions with Fr. Hugh, while one comment from a sporting perspective recalled fondly; “Involved with the (Faythe) Harriers when he was in (Wexford) town.”

On the glorious personal occasion of his Silver Jubilee Mass and celebrations led by Bishop Denis Brennan, Fr Hugh reflected on his half century of religious devotion and was looking forward to retirement. “My health isn’t the best at the moment. If you don’t have your health what have you?” he wisely pondered.

Born in 1942 at Streamville, Ballycogley, he was educated at Ballindaggin National School and St. Peter’s Seminary, Wexford, where he was ordained in June 1966.

After ordination he served in Kilrush, Clongeen, studied catechetics at Mount Oliver, Dundalk, served time as chaplain to St John of God Nursing Home, Ely House, Wexford in 1970. He was a teacher of religion in Wexford Vocational School in 1980.

Fr Hugh was popular during his time in Wexford town. He served as curate in Bride Street from 1980 to 1988, when he was assigned to Rowe Street and was Administrator from 1989 until 1994.

He was appointed parish priest of Blackwater on March 12th, 1994, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood in St. Brigid’s Church, Blackwater, in 2016, a few weeks before his retirement on health grounds.

Beloved brother of Anne, Peter and the late Pat; sadly missed by his loving family, sister-in-law Joan, nephews Peter, Martin, Hugh, Thomas and Patrick, niece Annette, cousins, relatives and friends, Bishop Denis Brennan and all the clergy of the Diocese of Ferns. MAY HE REST IN PEACE.

Private funeral will take place on Friday. Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to CROI. HSE guidelines regarding public gatherings will apply.

You are welcome to join in the celebration of Fr Hugh’s Funeral Mass via the parish webcam on the link www.ipcamlive.com/blackwaterchurch on Friday at 2 pm.

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