Image source Diocese of Clogher

We send good wishes to Canon Philip Connolly who celebrates his 94th birthday this weekend (27th November 2022). Born in November 1928, Canon Phil, as he is popularly known, is the oldest priest in the Diocese of Clogher. The middle child of a family of 13 children, 7 boys and 6 girls, (Jim, Matt, Pete and John, Vincent, and Pat, Nan, Ena, Josie, Cassie, Angela and Madge) he lived on a farm worked by his mother and father Mary Elizabeth and Peter Connolly near Latton. Canon Phil entered St. Patrick’s Maynooth in 1948, and was ordained a priest in June 1955. He ministered in Garrison (1955-58), Mulleek (1958-62), Castleblayney (1962 -64), Doohamlet (1964-66), Clones (1966-67), Clogher (1967-69) and Tydavnet (1969-84), and since then has been ministering as PP of Clontibret 1984-2004, until his retirement. We have very fond memories of him in the parish, his involvement in all that was good in the area, and we wish him a very happy birthday.

Here we reproduce a tribute ( (one of 2) to Fr Phil Connolly composed by the late Tydavnet poet Terence O’Gorman.

A quarter century ago it’s been

Since the Master beckoned follow me

How well worthwhile was this man’s assent

Plainer than ever now to see. 

To the converted he often preached

Any doubting one convinced before long

As he spoke by example as much as words

Propelled by a faith, mighty strong.

Heaven we thank as we see him now

Contemplate this man amongst men

Heaven we pray to spare him long

Where would we get his  like again?

All praise for the mother who gladly bore

Two sons to the sacred life with a will

In time with vocations alas too scarce

What a wondrous role we see her fill.

So raise a cheer for this great priest

On his second twenty five setting out

His courage and sang-froid will see him through

Smiling his way through it all no doubt.

Away long after the golden date

Our wish that his days may long extend

In a century now, may he still famed

As everyone’s loving, debonair friend.