Tributes paid to Ballina priest Fr Muredach Tuffy

Friday 02 November 2012 21.59
Funeral mass for Fr Muredach Tuffy took place in St Joseph's Church,
Castleconnor
Funeral mass for Fr Muredach Tuffy took place in St Joseph's Church, Castleconnor

The Catholic Bishop of Killala has paid tribute to Fr Muredach Tuffy, who took his own life on Monday.

Speaking at the 39-year-old's funeral near Ballina in Co Mayo, Dr John Fleming said it was a mystery that he did not share the anxiety that filled his mind with someone.

He said the mourners gathered at Saint Joseph's Church in Castleconnor today - the Feast of All Souls - were stunned by Fr Tuffy's death and devastated in their grief.

Dr Fleming said the manner of his passing should not be allowed to darken his outstanding service in the diocese over 13 years.

He said for the past decade, Fr Tuffy had given every ounce of his considerable energy to the Newman Institute in Ballina, which he had broadened from a Catholic University serving Mayo into a centre of adult faith formation for the entire west of Ireland.

The Bishop said "availability" was Fr Tuffy's second name and that, if he had a fault, it was his inability to say "no" to the many people - including himself, his Bishop - who had approached him with requests and good ideas.

Dr Fleming expressed regret at having made such approaches.

He said Fr Tuffy was a comforter among mourners, who themselves had been recalling his care for them in the days before his own death.

He described him as "principled almost to a fault when it came to the cause of what he believed was right".

The chief mourners at the funeral were Fr Tuffy's parents, Eileen Ann and Muredach.