herald

Saturday 27 May 2017

'He was jovial and caring with boundless energy'

TD Pat Casey paid tribute
TD Pat Casey paid tribute

Bishop Eamonn Casey was remembered for his "boundless energy", compassion and humanitarian work yesterday.

The 89-year-old died peacefully at around 2pm in a nursing home in Co Clare.

Following the controversy over his affair with Annie Murphy and the discovery that he fathered a child, he left the country.

He spent 14 years in exile in South America, but returned to Ireland and has spent the last number of years in a nursing home.

He had been suffering from dementia and was unwell in recent years.

President Michael D Higgins led the tributes, saying news of Casey's death had been met with sadness.

Fianna Fail TD Pat Casey, a nephew of the late former Bishop, also paid tribute.

"Our family loved Eamonn. 'Uncle Eamonn', as he was known to many, was as jovial and as caring a man to his family as he was to the many people he served in his public ministry as a priest and bishop," he said.

"As a family we are also acutely aware of the controversies in Uncle Eamonn's life. He has passed from this life during the Christian season of Lent, which considers such themes as sacrifice, atonement and reconciliation."

Blessings

Canon Michael McLoughlin, of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, remembered him as someone with "boundless energy" who had the ability to uplift people.

"Bishop Eamonn brought blessings to many people. But to be human is to be both blessed and to be flawed. Some of his actions caused great hurt and the circumstances giving rise to his resignation in 1992 have been the subject of ongoing analysis. Bishop Eamonn asked for forgiveness from all those that he hurt," he said.

Trocaire chairman Bishop William Crean said Casey's work with the organisation in the 1970s and 1980s had benefited millions of people.

"Bishop Casey spoke out courageously in defence of persecuted communities overseas and was willing to place himself in danger in order to do so," he said.

"His campaigning, both at home and overseas, raised awareness of grave injustices and helped to bring about positive change."

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