Grand Marshall 2017 – Fr. Paddy Kilcoyne

Fr. Paddy, a Sligo native hails from Ougham just outside of Tubbercurry.  A family of eight with four brothers and three sisters, many of whom still live in the Tubbercurry area. Having attended the local National School, he furthered his education in St. Nathy’s College Ballaghadeereen and in 1960 made the decision to follow his call and entered St. Patrick’s College Maynooth.

Having spent seven years in the seminary, he was ordained on the 18th June 1967. This year marks a special time as he celebrates the Golden Jubilee of his Ordination.  Fr. Paddy’s 50 years of service to the Church to date have seen him become a part of life in many communities in the Achonry Diocese; his first appointment in 1967 was as Curate in our neighbouring Parish of Bohola. A Gaelic football enthusiast, during his time in Bohola, Fr. Paddy togged out in the blue and white of Kiltimagh GAA. In 1970 he returned to St. Nathy’s College this time on the teaching staff, sharing his knowledge of Latin and History with First and Second year students. He remained in St. Nathy’s for a year and at this time was also Curate in the local Parish of Carracastle. In September 1971 Fr. Paddy returned to Bohola Parish, again taking up position of Curate. 1974 saw the establishment of Bohola Moy Davitts GAA Club and Fr. Paddy traded his Blue and White of Kiltimagh for the Red and White of his new club. Also in 1974, Fr. Paddy took up a teaching post in the Vocational School in Kiltimagh and taught Religion over a period of 10 years. He was reassigned to Kilkelly Parish in 1978 and remained there until 1986 as Curate, while in Kilkelly he continued playing Gaelic Football with Kilmovee Shamrocks.

His love of sport is no secret and Fr. Paddy Kilcoyne is a name that will resound with many involved with Community Games and was in fact the first Chairperson of Mayo Community Games from its establishment in 1974 and served this position for ten years until 1984 and was very proactive in the development of the games over the years. Mayo was the last of the 32 counties to join the Community games Organisation. Needless to say he still takes a keen interest in our local Community Games here in Kiltimagh where he volunteers each year.

In 1986 he made the move to Swinford Parish where he looked after the Meelick area and served here until 1991. Ironically his first appointment as Parish Priest brought him back to his home county of Sligo and the Parish of Coolaney, where he remained as Parish Priest until his move to Kiltimagh in August 1999.

Through the years Fr. Paddy developed a passion for photography and is never too far away from his camera, he has an astounding collection of photographs he has taken over time and in this digital age it is certainly warming to see the joy of pictures in print.  Also a keen Golfer, he enjoys nothing more than dusting off the cobwebs on the course in Enniscrone along the Wild Atlantic Way. He continues his love of Gaelic football by supporting his native Sligo and his adoptive home of Mayo and follows with interest the games in our own Kiltimagh GAA with whom he has been an active member since his arrival in the town.

As he ponders on all the people he has met on his journey so far, the friendships forged and the communities he was welcomed into – they will always hold a special place for him.

Although when he arrived, Fr. Paddy was no stranger to many in Kiltimagh, having played with and against many on the field and taught in the Vocational school, the people of Kiltimagh were delighted to welcome him back. A rock in our society having been there for so many of us in our celebrations and times of sorrow, we are honoured to have Fr. Paddy as our Parish Priest and friend over the past 18 years.