Bishop Francis launches new book

Fr Joe McGrath, Mary McGuigan, Bishop Francis Duffy, Andrew Finn, Beda Sullivan, Monseigneur Earley and Kevin Brady. Photo: Shelley Corcoran
There was great excitement in the parish of Streete last Sunday where the new parish book was launched by Bishop Francis Duffy.

There was great excitement in the parish of Streete last Sunday where the new parish book was launched by Bishop Francis Duffy.

It was one of the new Bishop’s first engagements as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois and it provided a fantastic platform on which he could meet with parishioners and others from the diocese who gathered to join in the celebrations last weekend. Bishop Francis Duffy officially became Bishop of the diocese less than two weeks ago at a special ceremony in Athlone, Co Westmeath.

The new book also caused a stir as its informative content and glossy look, emerged from beneath its beautiful hardback cover.

“The event was a tremendous success - I’d say maybe 300 or 400 people came out in support of the occasion and it really was fantastic,” beamed Fr Joe McGrath as he spoke to the Longford Leader on Monday. “We got support from both Longford and Westmeath and that was great to see. Streete has a fantasic history - in fact it’s one of the only half parishes in the diocese, so there was plenty to discuss and reminisce about. There was great excitement around the parish and indeed a great sense of occasion was also felt; the book itself is of the highest quality - hard-backed and glossy and it traces the life and times of both the parish of Streete and its people over the last couple of hundred years. We have been very excited about the project for some time and there was a lot of hard work and dedication involved, but we got there and are absolutely delighted with the finished product.”

The idea to compile a book on the picturesque parish was first mooted last year when the local church celebrated its 200th birthday. “When Streete Parish Church was 200 years old last year, we decided that we should do a parish history to commemorate that,” Fr McGrath continued. “We came up with the idea of the book and really it came to fruition so well for us all - we really are absolutely delighted. It takes a detailed and very comprehensive look at the people of this parish and the lives they led. The photographs are fascinating and there is something in it for everyone. It is a book that has an appeal to all age groups.”

He then added, “This is also a very special occasion for Bishop Francis - it was his first occasion as Bishop of the diocese and he was presented with an opportunity to meet people from the area.”

The Keary family also provided traditional Irish music on the day and there were some wonderful refreshments served afterwards. “A wonderful day was had by all; the music by the Keary family was so professional and we also had some wonderful refreshments after Mass,” concluded Fr McGrath.

Streete Parish Book is available to purchase in local stores at Streete, Rathowen and Edgeworthstown. It is also available from members of the parish committee and the cost is €20 for one book or €35 for two - a wonderful gift idea for family and friends overseas this festive season.