The community of Ballymahon is in mourning this week following the unexpected death of the Very Rev, Dr Padraig McGowan.
Fr McGowan died at the Parochial House in Ballymahon last Friday. He had served as parish priest in the area for over 20 years.
Leading the tributes to the late Fr McGowan, Bishop Francis Duffy said he was “a highly accomplished professional man with great warmth and caring.
“He was immensely shy, but had an amazing ability to network,” he added.
“His mind was like his appearance - youthful and vigorous.
“I can’t think of a conference he didn’t go to. He just loved to hear and debate new ideas.
“His house was wall-to-wall with theology books. He loved music and kept in touch. He had travelled the world, it seemed to me, and could always tell you who from Co Longford lived in anywhere you cared to mention.”
The Bishop continued: “He moved very gently in his pastoral work and this included school projects and the most recent work on St Matthew’s Church in Ballymahon.”
Fr McGowan’s Funeral Mass takes place today, Wednesday, at 2pm in St Matthew’s Church, Ballymahon, with burial afterwards in Newtownforbes Cemetery.
For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.