Sunday, September 17, 2017


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Fr. Gerry is a second cousin and I only discovered him in later life. His grandfather was married to two of my granny's sisters and then to another woman to boot. So he proudly boasts four grandmothers though only two are blood related.

For the last number of years he has been assigned to the combined parishes of Dolphin's Barn and Rialto, in the area where he grew up, initially as Parish Priest and then after heart surgery he swapped back to curate.

His career took in Tanzania, London, USA, Shankill, Corduff, and his present parishes. Now he's off on a sabbatical to London and Rome and their gain will be Dolphin's Barn and Rialto's loss. You can read a piece on him in the current Parish Newsletter from which I gratefully nicked the above photo.

Gerry shared a presbytery for six years with Fr. Gobezayehu, from Ethopia, and it was to him that parishioner Theresa turned when faced with doing a farewell tribute. You can read his touching tribute here.

Frank Silk has made lovely video of Fr. Gerry's farewell mass, in Dolphin's Barn on 10/9/2007, including photos of some of the "new Irish" who Fr. Gobezayehu refers to in his tribute. The combined parishes are now seriously multi-ethnic and it is clear from this video, and the pictures I have gratefully nicked from it, that Gerry has a welcome for all and that they are all very fond of him.

Cathy Scuffil

It is many years now since Gerry introduced me to Cathy Scuffil who was then on her way to the Somme, chasing up some of her relatives who died in WWI. She brought me back a photo of my uncle Paddy's name on the Thiepval monument for which I am eternally grateful. Cathy is currently one of the historians in residence with Dublin City Libraries.

The young Gerry.
Photo by Arthur Fields

For all his praises of Gerry, Fr. Gobezayehu recalls that there was one area in which Gerry didn't deliver. He never got round to fulfilling a promise to teach the good father Irish dancing.

Lest the good father think Gerry was bluffing I can reassure him that the above photo is all the proof he needs of Gerry's competence in that area.

I think Gerry must be unique - the only Parish Priest with four grannys to appear on O'Connell Bridge in a skirt.

Now that I've revealed all your secrets, Gerry, you'll definitely have to leave the country.

Travel well and enjoy.

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