Friday 24 November 2017

Face of retired priest who was swept to his death as floods ravage island roads

Heavy rain causes flooding, landslide and road closures

Reverend Roger Grainger
Reverend Roger Grainger
Gardai on duty.

A RETIRED Anglican priest in his mid-80s has died after his car was swept away in floods which ravaged an island community overnight.

The incident happened near Doogort on Achill Island shortly after 10pm, during torrential rain which brought chaos to many roads in the west of the country.

Reverend Roger Grainger was a retired Church of England priest, originally from England,  who moved to the west of Ireland three years ago after a lifetime of visiting the area with his late wife Doreen.

He had bought a house in Doogort six weeks ago close to St Thomas’s Church, where he helped local minister and close friend Rev Val Rogers.

“We have lost an incredible man and a great friend,” Rev Rogers told the Herald.

“Roger had a great love for the west of Ireland. He moved over permanently and had just bought a little house close to our church.

“He had been out for dinner and was driving home when his car was lifted off the road and into a ditch. The torrent was tropical, a dreadful flash flood that had gone just a couple of hours later.”


Gardai were in contact with police in England in a bid to trace relatives of the dead cleric,

Rev Grainger had completed several degrees during his life and had just been accepted on another degree course at Galway University.

“He was an absolute dynamo, a former actor with the Old Vic,” said Rev Rogers.

“He was a psychotherapist and a chaplain in psychiatric hospitals and those experiences came together in his books, which featured the healing power of drama and liturgy.

“Roger was an extraordinary man. He was a professor at a university in South Africa and was still marking PhD papers for them. He would cover for me at St Thomas’s when I was away and I always got him to read the Gospel and lead Holy Communion. We have lost a very good friend.”

The Co Mayo incident brought to three the number of people killed in road accidents over the weekend.

On Saturday Simon McGeoghegan (31) died after he was struck by a car while he was walking on the M11 motorway in Co Wicklow. He had been living in Arklow and was originally from Moville in Co Donegal.

Kenneth Dunne (24), died after his motorbike struck a barrier in Coralstown, Co Westmeath.

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