It is with profound sorrow that we record the death of Fr Billy Hughes, P.E., retired Parish Priest of Aughnamullen East (Lough Egish and Carrickatee), County Monaghan, following an illness which he bore with great fortitude for a number of years.
Fr Hughes was a native of Corviller in the parish of Tullycorbet, Co Monaghan, where was born on 2 April 1945. He attended Corvoy National School and afterwards pursued his education at St Macartan’s College, Monaghan and then at St Patrick’s College, Carlow. He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal William Conway on 8 June 1969 at St Michael’s Church, Lissan, Cookstown, Co Tyrone. His first appointment was a Curate in Rockcorry, Co Monaghan, in 1969. The following year he was transferred to the Parish of Aughnamullen East, where he served as a Curate for the following sixteen years. In 1986 he was appointed Curate in the Parish of Donagh (Emyvale & Glaslough), Co Monaghan, where he remained until 2002 when he returned to Aughnamullen East as Parish Priest. There, he served the people of Lough Egish and Carrickatee for a period of six years until ill health forced him to retire in early 2008, following which he resided in Inniskeen, Co Monaghan. Fr Hughes also had extensive experience as a teacher and secondary school chaplain, in three ETB schools, namely, Ballybay Community College (1969-71), Castleblayney College (1970-73) and Inver College, Carrickmacross (1973-86). During his early years in Aughnamullen he played gaelic football with Aughnamullen Sarsefields club, with whom he achieved honours.
In a tribute to Fr Hughes, the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Mgr Joseph McGuinness, said:
The priests and people of our diocese mourn the death of a dedicated priest, Fr Billy Hughes. Fr Billy, as he was popularly known, faithfully served the people of Rockcorry, Lough Egish, Carrickatee, Emyvale and Glaslough during his years of active ministry. Serious illness forced his early retirement in 2008, but even then, he would help out when he could if called upon in Inniskeen. His natural warmth, his love for all people, his sense of place and his love of gaelic games and outdoor life, all of these attributes endeared him to parishioners and others wherever he went. He had a great capacity to engage with young people and the memories of his work in secondary schools in Ballybay, Castleblayney and Carrickmacross attests to that. His acceptance of illness and the manner in which he bore it for ten years, is another great testimony to his Christian witness.
We extend our sincere sympathy to all his family. May Jesus Christ, the eternal priest, bring Fr Billy now to the fullness of joy in the kingdom of heaven and may the Lord support and console his family, and us all, at this time.
Funeral Arrangements are as follows:
Reposing at the residence of his sister-in-law Rose Hughes Corviller, Braddox, tomorrow, Saturday, from 12 noon until 9pm and again on Sunday from 10am until 2pm. Removal from the residence to arrive at The Sacred Heart Church, Lough Egish, for reception prayers at 4pm and then reposing until 8pm. Funeral Mass in the Sacred Heart Church, Lough Egish on Monday at 12 noon, followed by burial in the family plot, Most Holy Rosary Cemetery, Tullycorbet.
Family flowers only please, donations in lieu, if desired, to Monaghan Special Olympics c/o Ward’s Funeral Home or by donation box.
Please note there will be a shuttle bus running from Tullycorbet Hall (Eircode A75YW53) to the residence during reposing times.
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him O Lord!
Notes for Editors:
1. The Diocese of Clogher encompasses all of Co Monaghan, most of Fermanagh and portions of Tyrone, Donegal, Louth and Cavan. It has a Catholic population of 88,000, across 37 parishes, which are served by 63 priests and 1 deacon. There are 85 churches in the diocese. Monsignor Joseph McGuinness is the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, pending the appointment of a new bishop by Pope Francis. Mgr McGuinness is also the Administrator of the Parish of Tyholland, Co Monaghan.
2. The Parish of Aughnamullen East is situated in a predominantly rural part of mid-Monaghan, between the towns of Castleblayney, Ballybay and Carrickmacross. The parish has two churches – Sacred Heart, Lough Egish and St Mary’s, Carrickatee, both of which date from the 1890s, and one school, St Oliver Plunkett’s at Loughmourne. The Parish of Aughnamullen East has a total of 462 families and a Catholic population of 1,336.