Fr. Philip Donnelly to be buried tomorrow
Father Philip Donnelly, believed to be the oldest priest in the Derry Diocese, has died at the age of 92.
Rev. Donnelly, a native of Portrush, Co. Antrim, passed away at Nazareth House, Fahan, yesterday.
Born on March 13, 1920, in Portrush, in the Diocese of Down and Connor, Philip Donnelly attended St. Patrick’s Primary School, Portrush, before commencing his second level education at St. Columb’s College in Derry.
He later studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and also undertook studies at the University of Grenoble in France.
On June 18, 1944, Fr. Donnelly was ordained a priest at St Columb’s College.
He was appointed to the staff of St. Columb’s in 1945 and remained at the Bishop Street school until 1963 when he was appointed to the staff of St. Patrick’s High School, Maghera.
His first parochial appointment was in 1974 as Parish Priest of Urney.
In 1976, he was appointed the first Parish Priest of the newly constituted Parish of Ardstraw West and Castlederg.
In 1980, he was appointed Parish Priest of Limavady, a parish in which he was to serve for fifteen years.
On reaching the retirement age as Parish Priest, he was appointed Curate in Ballymonie, in the Parish of Banagher.
In 2006, Fr. Donnelly retired and spent his remaining years in Nazareth House, Fahan.
Right Rev. Mgr. Eamon Martin, Dioecesan Administrator, last night paid tribute to Fr. Donnelly.
“Fr Phil served the people of the Diocese of Derry with dedication, both in parish ministry and education, for many years,” he said.
“His death is deeply regretted by the retired bishops, priests and people of the diocese.”
Requiem Mass for Fr. Donnelly will be celebrated tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12 noon at St. Joseph’s Church, Fincairn, Feeny, in the Parish of Banagher.
Burial will take place immediately afterwards at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Church, Ballymonie, Foreglen, Parish of Banagher.
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Weather for Derry
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South west