In memoriam: Fr. Patrick McIntyre

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Ordained a priest on June 5, 1960 in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, after years of studying for the priesthood at St Kieran’s College, Fr. Patrick McIntyre left his native soil to minister as a priest in the diocese of Salford which is situated in the greater Manchester area.

He served in a number of parishes for 16 years. Following the death of his mother in 1984 he decided to follow his desire and volunteered to go as a missionary priest to South America.

After a few months of study in Boston, with the Society of St. James, mainly learning Spanish, he found himself in Ecuador in a parish high up (12,000 feet) in the Andes.

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He was literally on the equator. Living among his people in abject poverty Fr. Paddy was at his happiest.

The late Fr. Patrick McIntyreThe late Fr. Patrick McIntyre
The late Fr. Patrick McIntyre

Having been born in Rosemount of parents who came from the Illies and Cockhill areas of Buncrana he could easily identify with, and very quickly felt at home in, his new surroundings.

He lived as his parishioners did. His staple diet, like that of his parishioners, was rice and eggs.

While on a visit, about 18 years ago, I witnessed first hand how he and volunteers provided rice, eggs and soup to the thousands of people who came every day.

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Tributes paid to Fr. Paddy McIntyre

The rice was sponsored by donors in Chicago and Germany.

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High up in the mountains Fr. Paddy recognised that the only way out of their poverty was through education and to that end with the support of fundraising by good friends, many now deceased back in Rosemount, and parishioners of St. Eugene’s Parish he was able to build schools and colleges and pay teachers.

As a priest he travelled many, many miles every weekend to say Mass and celebrate the sacraments in the different far distant parts of his parish.

He really loved being able to say Mass for the people.

His life was a simple one, infrequent supply of electricity and no TV or telephone in the early days, he truly lived the gospel values.

Because of age and poor health he returned to live in Rosemount and assisted at St. Eugene’s Cathedral up to very recently.

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Even when he was far from well he was keen to assist with Mass and confessions.

He loved South America and its people. His humble manner and inner peace as well as his self- effacing demeanour, yet joyous humour, marked him out as special.

May his gentle soul be at peace.