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Death of Fr. Joe McCluskey RIP

The following Press Release has been issued by the Clogher Diocesan office regarding the death of Fr. Joe McCluskey:


The entire Diocese of Clogher is shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely death of one of its priests, Fr Joseph (Joe) McCluskey, P.E., Killanny and formerly the Parish Priest of Kilmore & Drumsnatt (Threemilehouse-Corcaghan). Fr McCluskey died as a result of a road traffic accident on the N2 road between Castleblayney and Carrickmacross yesterday, 29 November 2017.

Fr McCluskey was a native of Carrickahogue in the Raferagh area of Carrickmacross parish, where he was born in February 1939. He was educated at Corcreaghy National School and St Macartan’s College, Monaghan before pursuing his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1957. Fr McCluskey was ordained at Maynooth on 21 June 1964. His first appointment in the diocese was as Curate in the Clara area of the north-Monaghan parish of Errigal Truagh, where he served until his transfer to Aghadrumsee in Clones parish in September 1970. In 1979, he was appointed Curate in Scotshouse (Killeevan-Currin-Aghabog parish) where he served for ten years. In 1989 he was appointed Administrator of the Parish of Dromore, before becoming Parish Priest of Kilmore & Drumsnatt (Threemilehouse-Corcaghan) in 1992. He faithfully served the people of that parish for twenty-three years until his retirement in 2015. Following his retirement as Parish Priest, he moved to Killanny parish where he generously served the People of God for the last two years.

In a tribute to Fr McCluskey, the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Clogher, Mgr Joseph McGuinness, said:

There is a sense of deep sadness in our diocese today. We have lost a deeply committed and faithful priest whose gentle devotion and kindness endeared him to his fellow priests and to all the people whom he served. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to Fr Joe’s sisters, nephews and nieces, and all who grieve for his loss, in particular the parishioners of Killanny and of Kilmore & Drumsnatt. Our prayers are also with all who have been affected by this tragic event.

May the loving kindness of God, so beautifully reflected in the ministry of Fr Joe, support and console us all at this time.

Fr McCluskey’s funeral arrangements:

Reposing at the Parochial House, Killanny, on Sunday, 3rd December, from 1pm until 3:30pm. Removal to St. Enda's Church, Killanny, arriving for prayers of reception at 4pm. Reposing at St. Enda's Church until 9pm. Funeral Mass on Monday, 4th December, at 12 noon followed by burial in St. John's Cemetery, Raferagh.


Directions to Killanny: From Carrickmacross take the Dundalk Road, R178, for aprox 2km, turn right onto the L4700, stay on this road for aprox 5km. Funeral signs mark the route.


I knew Fr. Joe personally and spent many hours with him over the years. I first met him in Maynooth before he was ordained and when he came to Truagh parish in Clara, we stuck up a close friendship which lasted though we met very occasionally after he was changed to Aghadrumsee. When he came to Threemilehouse I met him occasionally as my uncle, Jimmy Joe, and family lived in his parish and he officiated at family events.  We played a lot of handball in the Clara handball alley and in the alleys at St. Macartan's College. He always won as he was a terrific handballer and it all seemed so easy for him. Listening to all the adjectives being used to describe him since his death I am struck by the same words being used repeatedly but they are so accurate - he was quiet, he was very holy, he was very concerned for people when they had trouble, he visited the sick, he prayed a lot, you could not have a row with him, he was very priestly, his celebration of the sacraments was always solemn and dignified, he was unassuming, humble, modest and selfless. He will be sadly missed by so many. May he now enjoy the reward for all his goodness to humanity while with us. My sympathies to his relatives and fellow priests, all of whom are in deep shock and devastated at his death.