Tributes paid to former Dean of Derry David Cecil Orr

Tributes have been paid to the former Dean of Derry, the Very Reverend David Cecil Orr, who has passed away at the age of 89.

The Very Reverend David Cecil Orr.
The Very Reverend David Cecil Orr.

Dean Orr, who recently marked the 65th anniversary of his ordination, served his entire ministry in the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe.

He passed away peacefully at home in the Waterside on Friday, November 11.

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The current Dean of Derry, Raymond Stewart, had been friends with the late Dean for over 40 years and recalls his predecessor’s strong attachment to St. Columb’s Cathedral, where he worshipped regularly.

He was born in Carlisle Road, where his father owned a draper’s shop. He was educated at the Model, Foyle College and Trinity College.

He served his curacy in Drumragh (Omagh) from 1957-60, before being appointed Rector of Convoy and Monellan. He spent 10 years there, followed by incumbencies in the Maghera Group (1970-80) and Drumragh (1980-84).

In 1984, he was appointed Rector of the Parish of Templemore (St. Columb’s Cathedral) and Dean of Derry.

He was Honorary Secretary of the Diocesan Council and Synod from 1982-95, and secretary of the Derry Diocesan Board of Education for five years until his retirement.

He was awarded a Silver Acorn for his long service to the Scouting Association, and the Honourable the Irish Society made him a Freeman of the City of London for his contribution to the community in Derry.

He is survived by his wife, Valerie, sons Richard, David and Jonathan, daughter Melissa and a number of grandchildren. His Funeral Service will take place in Saint Columb’s Cathedral at 11am, on Tuesday morning, November 15, 2022 followed by a private family burial.