Ballina in shock following death of popular priest
By Colm Gannon
Ballina and the surrounding areas were plunged into mourning this week following the unexpected death of Fr Muredach Tuffy. The 39-year-old, who was a native of Castleconnor, Co Sligo, was a priest in the Diocese of Killala and better known as the director of the Newman Institute in Ballina.
Requiem mass for Fr Tuffy will be said at 10.30am this morning in St Joseph’s Church, Castleconnor, and he will be buried at Killanley cemetery afterwards. Fr Tuffy was ordained a priest in 1999 and served as director of the Newman Institute since 2003 and he became well known throughout the province for his work with the institute which offered a number of theological courses of study.
‘A pall of sadness decended on the town’, said mayor
Cllr Wille Nolan, Mayor of Ballina Town Council, told the Mayo Advertiser: “I’d firstly like to pass on my deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of Fr Tuffy at this very tough time. A pall of sadness descended on the town and the surrounding areas with his passing. He was a very vibrant person and will be sadly missed by every on in the area. He played a huge part in so many people’s lives, especially with his work in the Newman Institute and the courses they ran. He also worked very closely with the young people in the town and will have left a lasting impression on them.”Fine Gael TD, Dep Michelle Mulherin expressed her sympathies and in a statement said: “Father Muredach was intricately involved in the life of Ballina in church and community, with young and old. He was the people's priest kind personable and amenable to his parishioners. Ballina is shocked to the core and deeply saddened by his sudden death. It is hard to imagine the grief his parents and family and the Bishop and his fellow clerics now contend with.”
A Facebook memorial page to the late Fr Tuffy was set up during the week and had almost 1,500 likes on the page on Thursday afternoon. On the page a large number of people paid tribute to the late Fr Tuffy with their own memories of him and his work. The page can be found at www.facebook.com/FrMuiredachTuffy