Fr Ray Kelly is leaving Oldcastle in July.

Fr Ray to leave role as parish priest of Oldcastle

Fr Ray Kelly, known as 'the singing priest' following an appearance on 'Britain's Got Talent', is leaving his role as parish priest of Oldcastle to become Associate Pastor in Kilcormac, Rahan and Eglish parishes in Offaly, resident in Kilcormac.

He is being succeeded in Oldcastle by Fr Mark Mohan, the current parish priest of Ballivor and Kildalkey, which is to lose a parish priest and be incorporated into Athboy parish.

Diocese of Meath, clerical appointments, May 2023.

The following appointments were to take effect Saturday, July 1 2023 (due to holidays, some of the changes are taking place this coming weekend).

Fr Ray Kelly, PP Oldcastle, to be AP, Kilcormac, Rahan and Eglish parishes, resident in KIlcormac.

Fr Padraig McMahon, PP Athboy, to be Adm, Ballivor and Kildalkey, in addition.

Fr Mark Mohan, PP Ballivor and Kildalkey, to be PP, Oldcastle.

Fr Ciaran Clarke, CC, Ashbourne, to be CC, Ballivor and Kildalkey.

Fr Conor Magee, CC Multyfarnham, to be PP, Multyfarnham.

Fr Ciprian Solomon, CC, St Mary’s, Drogheda, to be CC, Mornington.

Fr Derek Ryan, CssR, to be CC, Holy Family, Drogheda and CC, Saint Mary’s, Drogheda.

Fr Brendan O’Rourke, IVE, CC Holy Family, Drogheda, to be CC, Ashbourne.

Fr Stephen Kennedy, IVE, CC Holy Family, Drogheda, to be CC, Ashbourne.

Fr Joseph Apust, CC, Mornington, to return to Minna Diocese.

Fr Emmanuel Ibitoye CC, Mornington (Minna Diocese), to be AP, Saint Mary’s, Drogheda.

Born in Tyrrellspass, in 1953, Ray Kelly was ordained in 1989, and served as curate in St Mary's in Navan for a period, and in Rahan, before his appointment as parish priest of Oldcastle in 2006.

In April 2014, he was officiating at a wedding in St Brigid’s Church, where he sang a version of Leonard Cohen’s classic song ‘Hallelujah’.

The words had been specially adapted for the occasion by the happy couple’s bridesmaid. It was uploaded to YouTube and quickly went viral, viewed more than 60 million times.

He was inundated with messages of goodwill and, in December 2014, he recorded a 10-track album titled ‘Where I Belong’. In December 2015, he featured as a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek programme, and then auditioned for the 12th series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. His rendition of ‘Everybody Hurts’ by REM drew a standing ovation.