Former greenkeeper and ex-barman ordained in Galway
Two new priests will say first masses on Thursday after double ordination
John O’Halloran and Michael King during the procession at their ordination at Galway Cathedral yesterday. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy
Two new priests will say their first Masses this evening after being ordained in Galway yesterday afternoon.
And with a third priest to be ordained in the summer in Galway, the ordinations of Fr John O’Halloran (38) and Fr Michael King (39) have been warmly greeted by Catholic parishioners.
Fourteen priests were ordained nationally last year and while a spokesman for the Catholic Church said yesterday that there was not a definitive figure for the coming year, nine deacons were also ordained last year.
Fr Diarmuid Hogan, the communications officer for the Galway diocese, said the double ordination was a significant event and a big boost.
‘Very special day’
“We have about 50 active priests in the diocese, we have 15 retired priests, so to have two new priests is a big thing and it is a particularly big thing this year as on July 17th our third deacon Daniel Gallagher is going to be ordained to the priesthood,” he said.
Hundreds of people attended the double ordination by Bishop Martin Drennan at Galway Cathedral.
Fr O’Halloran, from Killannin in Co Galway, was greenkeeper at Oughterard Golf Club before studying for the priesthood in Maynooth in 2009.
“I am looking forward to the time ahead, to my first appointment and to beginning to live the life I’ve been trained for and always wanted,” he said.
Mass He will celebrate his first
Mass at 6pm today in the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Killannin.
Fr King, the youngest of six children from the east Galway suburb of Renmore, worked as barman in a city centre nightclub in Galway city and also spent time working in Dubai before studying for the priesthood. “I am looking forward to priesthood and I am looking forward to my diary appointment. I have wanted this day for a long time,” said Fr King, who will celebrate his first Mass at 7pm today in the Church of St Oliver Plunkett, Renmore.