Swinford priest who was chaplain in San Quentin State Prison passes away

Fr Denis McManus from Swinford died peacefully on Christmas Day 2009 at the Spiritan (Holy Ghost ) nursing home in Kimmage Manor, Dublin.

Born in 1930, Fr McManus attended Blackrock College from the age of 12. After completing secondary school, he gained a BA degree in English and philosophy at UCD in 1955. He studied theology in Kimmage and was ordained to the priesthood in 1958 before he took up his mission appointment in Nigeria. He worked in the Diocese of Owerri, principally in ministries of teacher-training and catechetics until 1970.

After leaving Nigeria during the time of the Biafran War, Fr McManus moved to California and would spend much of his later years with the Irish Spiritans in the San Francisco Bay area, in parish work and chaplaincy. He was chaplain for over 20 years in the San Quentin State Prison, the prison which Johnny Cash famously noted had “scarred me thru an’ thru”.

Fr McManus came back to the Spiritan base in Kimmage in October 2009 and spent his final few weeks in the Marian House nursing home there.

Fr McManus was buried in Dardistown Cemetery and is survived by three brothers and a sister. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

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