Historical address to Bishop Finegan in Ballinamore Library

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 11th August, 2010 4:59pm

Historical address to Bishop Finegan in Ballinamore Library after 100 years

A historic illuminated address presented by the people of Ballinamore to their parish priest Reverend Patrick Finegan, as he was about to become Bishop of Kilmore in 1910 will be put on public display in Ballinamore Library.

Patrick Finegan was born in 1858 in the parish of Urney and Annagelliff in County Cavan. His parents were James Finegan and Mary O'Reilly of Corlurgan. He did his entire ecclesiastical studies in St. Patrick's, where he was ordained in December 1881. He ministered in the parishes of Annagh, Cavan, Knockninny and Templeport.

Fr Finegan served as parish priest of Oughteragh/Ballinamore from 30th October 1908 until 13th August 1910.

Fr. Finegan was held in high esteem by the people of Ballinamore, so much so that he was presented with an elaborate and eloquent address on his departure from the parish to take up his appointment as Bishop of Kilmore. In the address he was praised for his 'piety, scholarship and patriotism' and described a 'Father, Guide and Friend'. He was also applauded for his 'promotion of temperance, the education of youth and the renovation of our dear old Sanctuary'. This was indeed a lengthy address of over 450 words, which ended with a salute 'May God grant your Lordship length of days, health and happiness to enable you to sustain the best traditions of this historic Diocese, and when you labours here are ended, we pray, you may find everlasting repose in the bosom of our Divine Master'. Indeed he did live to the age of 79 and Bishop Finegan died on 25th January 1937.

A number of years ago Bishop McKiernan presented the address to Leitrim County Librarian, Seán Ó Suilleabháin. As it approached 100 years since the address was presented to Bishop Finegan, staff at the Library undertook getting the original frame restored. It was also deemed appropriate to launch the address and to mark the centenary and to make this unique item accessible to the people of Ballinamore, where it originated from. Fr Charles Heerey, Parish Priest of Ballinamore will officially unveil the address in Leitrim County Library on Friday August 13th 2010 at 4pm. Everyone is welcome to attend this event but if this is not possible, it can be viewed at any time. Opening hours: - Mon, Wed & Fri 10.00 - 5.30; Tues & Thur 10.00 - 8pm;

Sat 10.00 am - 5.00 pm. Further information can be sought from Mary Conefrey, Assistant Librarian, email mconefrey@leitrimcoco.ie or telephone 071 9645567.

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