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....His Love of People......
by
Rt. Rev. Mgr. Francis MacLarnon, V.G. Dungannon

Extracts, with the Society's permission, from an article in the 1991 Journal of The Creggan Local History Society

Picture of the Cardinal's grave on the day of his burialAs darkness began to fall in Armagh on the evening of Tuesday 15 May 1990, there were still small groups of people praying at the new grave beside the Cathedral. .....Even now ..... we marvel at the intensity of the grief which the passing of this man evoked in people who knew him only slightly or not at all. ....His greatest strength and his most notable characteristic was his love of people.

After his death it fell to my lot to be involved in dealing with the vast mountain of condolence from all over the world. For weeks, as the letters and messages of sympathy came in, evidence was constantly coming to light of his quiet benefactions and kindnesses to all kinds of humble people.......

We all have our cherished memories of him. I often recall his gaiety and pride as he visited the shrines of Irish saints in France and Germany, on his many tours of Europe. He lectured to audiences far and wide but I know he was always at his happiest when savouring the sharpness of an Irish breeze, be it on the Cooley Mountains during the Poc Fada or at Croke Park for the All-Ireland Final.

......we who knew him and worked with him are conscious of the tremendous influence of his warm personality in our lives and thank God for the great gifts of mind and heart which were his and which enriched so much the Ireland of our day




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