Fr Peter Tiernan is leaving the parish of Carrickedmond after 15 years as spiritual leader in the area.
Last Thursday night, parishioners packed the local community centre to the rafters to bid a fond farewell to a man described by many as ‘kind, spiritual and good’.
Mary Doherty was Fr Tiernan’s secretary for seven years, and She shared her fond memories of the priest with the Longford Leader last Thursday night in Carrickedmond: “We never had a disagreement or a wrong word between us,” smiled Mary. “There was always that trust between us; he would go on the train from Edgeworthstown to Dublin to visit someone from the parish who was in hospital and he cared so much about everyone. We will miss him so much here.”
Fr Tiernan is now moving to Co Leitrim and will be replaced by Fr Charlie Healy, who is a native of Dromard. Cllr Mick Cahill, who is on the Carrickedmond Parish Council, also spoke about Fr Tiernan’s influence in the south Longford area over the years.
“Fr Peter’s contribution to the Parish Council has been great,” he added. “He was a great motivator who led by example and was a very modest, spiritual man. He had great patience with the children and always gave them his full attention. Fr Peter is fondly loved by all the people in this parish.”
Having spent 15 years in Carrickedmond and visited his parishioners on a monthly basis, Fr Tiernan got to know those around him very well. He included everyone in the work of the parish and as one person told the Leader, “Fr Tiernan treated everyone equally and encouraged everyone to participate in the parish.
“It is his simplicity and humility that I will always remember,” said Brendan Quaine. “Fr Peter lived a very simple life and he treated everyone in the parish equally,” he continued. “In his care of the sick he was outstanding and he will be very sadly missed in this parish.”
In conclusion, presentations were then made to Fr Tiernan by representatives from the various parish authorities. “I feel overcome by the size of the gathering here this evening and all the expressions of gratitude and goodwill,” Fr Tiernan remarked.
“This says more about your goodness than it does about me. This is a very good parish; a very good place in which to live and a very good place in which to raise a family.
“All I ask of you is that you preserve the spirit of care and the spirit of neighbourliness because it is very important.
“Keep me in your prayers and I too will keep you in mine.”