Canon Oliver Hughes, Corofin’s highly respected and much-loved parish priest for the past seven years, and former teacher and president of St Jarlath’s college, Tuam from 1972-2003, passed away on Tuesday morning.
Fr Ollie was extremely popular and well known in both educational and GAA circles. He was very much appreciated and valued in the world of Gaelic football at both local and national level as one of the most admired and successful coaches in the history of St Jarlath’s College, and the Hogan Cup competition.
A farmer’s son, he was educated at St Jarlath’s College, St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the University of Strasbourg. Ordained to the priesthood in 1969, he ministered briefly in Finney, Co. Mayo before being appointed to the teaching staff of St Jarlath’s in 1972. He exemplified the rounded education which schools treasure in any teacher and try to impart to all students.
His early academic excellence matured into a life-long love of books and his sporting achievements as a student were father to a long and brilliant career as a school coach. In the latter regard he played on the 1961 team which won the Hogan Cup in that year. He was to remain in St Jarlath’s for the next thirty-one years, serving as teacher of French, mainly, until 1994 when he became President of the College, an office he held until his finally leaving in 2003. He spent the remaining seven years of his life ministering as Parish Priest of nearby Corofin, Co. Galway.
He was involved with St Jarlath's teams for 30 years, during which time he coached many of the top young footballers in Connacht and he led the school to four Hogan Cup victories in 1978, 1982, 1984 and 2002. He also won a Hogan Cup medal on the 1961 team.
Fr Oliver was a tremendously generous, caring, humble and humane individual and a wonderful teacher for many years in the college before he went on to be an outstanding president of the college from 1994 to 2003, when he transferred to the Corofin parish.
Anyone who came into his company benefited from the experience and he always had time for people. He is a colossal loss to the Corofin parish and he will be sadly missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
Canon Hughes will be reposing at St Colman’s Room, adjacent to St Colman’s Church in Corofin on today (Thursday ) September 16 from 4pm to 8pm. Removal to St Colman’s Church at 8pm. Funeral Mass on Friday at 12 noon in St.Colman’s Church. Burial afterwards in the Church grounds.