Fr. Richard Barrett (1848–1920)

Grave of Fr Richard Barrett in Enniskeane

Fr Barrett’s mortal remains lay to the west side of the steps that lead up to the church where he served as parish priest from 1903 – 1910.

Diocesan records indicate that Fr. Barrett was born in Dunmanway parish. He was ordained in 1875.

After ordination he was appointed to teach at the diocesan seminary which was then located on top of St. Patrick’s Hill in Cork — before the later Farranferris building was developed. He served on the staff from 1876 – 02/1887. At the same time, he served as chaplain to several institutions in Cork.

He served for a year as Chaplain to the City & County Male Gaol and in 1888, he was appointed to St. Patrick’s Parish, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork, and served there until October 1903 when he returned to his native West Cork to serve as Parish Priest of Enniskeane.

His term as PP was relatively short because he retired in 1910 but continued to live in the parish until his death in June 1920.

A record of his funeral notes that the “chief mourners were John Barrett (brother) and Mrs Dinneen (sister)”.

The Skibbereen Eagle, Sat June 18th, 1920, p3.

The death of the Rev. Richard Barrett, P.P. (retired), Enniskeane, which occurred at St. Mary’s, Enniskeane, on Saturday, will be received with feelings of deepest sorrow. Born in the Pariah of Dunmanway 72 years ago, the earliest wish of his heart was to become a priest of God. After the usual preparatory course of classics in Clonnakilty, Bandon and Cork, he entered Maynooth, and in his collegiate career held an honoured and foremost place amongst the giants of his time, who regarded him as a man of first rank ability. 

Shortly after his ordination in 1875 the then Bishop of Cork (Dr. De-laney) appointed Father Barrett to the chair of classics in the old St. Finbarr’s Seminary. Here he laboured with no ordinary success for several years, and many distinguished students while reading under him covered themselves, their Alma Mater, and their well-loved professor with honours, hard won in the Intermediate and University examinations. The relations between .students and professor were of the most cordial character. Fr. Barrett systematically understood, favourably impressed and strongly attracted them all, and all confidently looked up to him as to a senior brother. As time advanced Fattier Barrett was promoted to the important curacy of St. Patrick’s, Cork, where for some dozen years he proved his zeal for souls and his great capacity for priestly work. His colleagues found in him a most amiable co-worker, “the poor had the Gospel preached to them,” and literally his left hand knew not of his right hand’s deeds. 

Some fifteen years ago Fr. Barrett was appointed P.P. of Enniskeane. Owing to his arduous work in the seminary and on the mission Father Barrett’s health was somewhat undetermined. Yet he would take no rest. He continued working until the cross of his life came—an unsuccessful operation for cataract, which left him completely blind. Considering that his “‘talent” for the care of souls “lodged with him useless” Father Barrett , resigned the pastorate of Enniskeane, and in long suffering, patiently borne, he took up his cross and followed His Master. 

All unconsciously to himself, Father Barrett was adorned with the greatest virtues of the Irish priesthood. His knowledge of the Sacred Scripture was profound, his expositions remarkably lucid, and his sound advice in all matters of moment showed his firm grasp of principles. His hospitality was provcrbial, his friends were legion, and “who loved him once loved on to the end.” His well-stored mind was to him a great resource in his affliction, but prayer was his chief reliance. In public affairs in the fight for Emancipation, he had an abiding interest, and took an active part. Lenders of public opinion held his advice in high esteem. Between him him and them, (and notably with one outstanding figure), a deathless friendship ensued. Father Barrett adhered to what he believed to be right and just, and by that only —

“A sower of infinite seed was he, a woodsman who hewed towards the light, 
Who dared to be traitor to Union when Union was traitor to Right.” 

In the new movement he was young as the youngest, and full of hope. His last illness came on unexpectedly, and was of short duration. During his illness he was consoled by the particular and unremitting attention of his friends, Rcv, Father O’Regan, C.C., and Dr. Fehilly, whose, care for him was constant and affectionate. Father Barret knew the call had come, and as a faithful soldier of Christ, with Christian fortitude he faced the end. His deathbed was,, like that described by St. Francis de Sales,  a deathbed of humility, confidence and charity, when he expired with an humble trust in God’s mercy.

The inscription on Fr Barrett’s headstone.

Bishop comes for Mass and tea to Lackanashinnagh Station

The last household in our parish hosting an Autumn Station Mass this year made a little bit of history when Bishop Fintan Gavin, Bishop of Cork and Ross, made his first visit to our parish and celebrated the Station Mass at the home of John Joe and Kathleen Crowley, Lackanashinnagh, Enniskeane, with their neighbours and extended family.

It was Bishop Gavin’s first time being at a Station Mass and probably the first time that a Bishop celebrated a Station Mass in our parish!

At the Station Mass at the home of John Joe and Kathleen Crowley, Lackanashinnagh, are the extended Crowley Family with Bishop Fintan Gavin who was the Principal Celebrant of the Mass and Fr Tom Hayes, PP, Enniskeane.
At the Station Mass at the home of John Joe and Kathleen Crowley, Lackanashinnagh, where Bishop Fintan Gavin was the Principal Celebrant of the Mass.

St. Joseph moves from Crosshaven to Enniskeane

The statue of St. Joseph and the child Jesus which now stands in the cemetery in Enniskeane is intertwined with the life of a Presentation Sister to whom it is dedicated.

The parish was gifted the statue by the Presentation Sisters when their convent in Crosshaven closed. It stood in the grounds of the convent there since 1932.

The statue in Crosshaven.

The inscription reads:

“Presented to Rev. Mother M. Agnes Daly by the Sisters on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee 1882–1932”

Sr. Mary Agnes Daly was born in Kilmurry Parish in 1853. Her parents were Jeremiah and Mary Daly. A newspaper report about her Jubilee in 1932 wrote that ‘She comes from an old and highly esteemed Co. Cork family, many members of which, today, occupy positions that command respect in professional and commercial spheres.’

On 2 Oct 1879 she entered the Presentation Convent at Crosshaven and was received by the community as a novice on 1 April 1880 (at 26 years).

On 13 April 1882 St Agnes made her Solemn Profession in the presence of Bishop William Delany; Fr Jeremiah Carey, PP; Mother M. Ignatius Ryan and Sr Teresa Tynan.

Sr Agnes
and the statue in 1932 in Crosshaven.

Fifty years later she celebrated her Golden Jubilee on 13 April 1932 and the statue was erected in the gardens of the Crosshaven Convent.

She died on 14 December 1937 and the Cork Examiner noted her passing to eternal life by saying that “for the last 40 years she filled in turn every office of trust in the Community, where her genuine worth, the nobleness of her character and her amiability, with her gentle and unassuming manner, endeared her to her Sisters in religion, and to all who came into contact with her’. (— Cork Examiner 12/1937).

May St. Joseph, patron saint of a happy death, bring consolation and peace to all who mourn and the light of eternal life to all who have died.

Staff of Ross Collins and McCarthy Tarmacadam erecting the statue in its new location.

Enniskeane Parish records a debt of gratitude to Sr. Ann Coffey and all the Presentation Sisters; to Jim McCarthy and Barry Collins who transported it safely to Enniskeane; to Jim McCarthy for stripping away the old paintwork; to Nora Bradfield for painting it anew; to the staff of Ross Collins and McCarthy Tarmacadam for erecting the statue in its new location; to Theo Cullinane for laying the concrete base; to Conor Mannix for the surrounding paving work.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you. Amen.”

Latest Redemptoristine Nun is from our parish.

Congratulations and every blessing to Sr Máire Bríd O’Driscoll, Gortaleen, Ballineen, who celebrated her First Religious Profession as a Redemptoristine Sister at St Alphonsus Convent, Dromcondra, Dublin, on Sat Aug 31st, 2019.

The First Religious Profession of Sr Máire Bríd O’Driscoll, Gortaleen, Ballineen, at St Alphonsus Convent, Dromcondra, Dublin. Sr Máire Bríd is photographed with family members who were at the ceremony: her father Pat O’Driscoll, her sister Siobhán, mother Ina, brother Pádraig and sister-in-law Zoe.

Fr Maurice Roche PP (Ahiohill Church founder)

When Maynooth College opened its door to student priests in 1795, Maurice Roche and John Allen were the first Cork students to enrol in the Maynooth, Co. Kildare, college. They were ordained priests of Cork diocese in 1800.

Maurice Roche’s first appointment was as curate in Watergrasshill Parish on the north-east corner of the diocese. A while later he transferred to one of the Bandon churches where he served as curate until 1817 when he was appointed Parish Priest of the nearby parish of Desertserges.

During his time in Ahiohill, the present Church of the Assumption of Our Lady was erected and it was dedicated for worship in 1832 – just a few years after Catholic Emancipation.

Fr Roche served in the parish until his death on April 11th, 1839. He was buried just beside the southern wall of the church whose building he had supervised.

His burial place was marked with a raised limestone slab which was engraved witht he following inscription:-


Beneath This Stone Are Deposited The Remains Of The Rev Maurice Roche

22 Years PP of Desertserges, He Died April 11 Ad1839

Requiescat in Pacem

As the writing was almost illegible by 2016 and the grave was in disrepair, a new limestone slab with the same engraving was commissioned from Pat O’Sullivan and Sons of Clonakilty. It will ensure that Fr Roche’s memory ir preserved for another few generations to come.

Grave of Fr Maurice Roche at Ahiohill church

Grave of Fr Maurice Roche at Ahiohill church

Grave of Fr Maurice Roche at Ahiohill church

Grave of Fr Maurice Roche at Ahiohill church yard before its preservation in 2017. Fr Roche was one of the First two Cork students in the new Maynooth college in 1795. He served as PP of Desertserges from 1817 to 1839.

Castletown Church reopens

The first Mass since the end of June was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh, in the parish of Enniskeane on Sunday September 10th at 10.30am. The church had been closed for refurbishment and other essential works for 10 weeks.

The church is now fully accessible and has accessible toilets and is fitted with a T-loop system for people with hearing impairments.

It has a new entrance, with an interior glazed porch. It also has a quiet room which is welcoming for parents with young children.

The church has also been completely redecorated. Many historical artefacts have also been restored.

Front entrance of St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

The new extension at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh. The view that welcomes the visitor.

Original timbers preserved and painted.

Old and new blended at at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

The quiet room at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

New front doors at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

The traditional Stations of the Cross have been restored and hung at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

As well as restoring the original Stations of the Cross, a set of reflections with one corresponding to each Station has also been designed by Annette Millard to hang in St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

Our Lady’s shrine at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

The sanctuary area at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh., including the newly restored 1860s painting of the Crucifixion and the 1845 altar carved by John Hogan.

The newly decorated interior of St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

New glazed lobby at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

New glazed lobby at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

Stairs to the gallery at St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.

Exterior of St. Joseph’s Church, Castletown Kinneigh.