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Very Rev Patrick (Pat) Gaynor PE, RIP

Funeral Arrangements

Due to Government and H.S.E. Covid 19 regulations A Private Family Funeral will take place. Funeral Prayers in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Walsh Island on Tuesday at 7pm. Requiem Mass on Wednesday at 1pm. Interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Fr Gaynor’s Funeral Prayers and Requiem Mass will be streamed live on


Date of Birth: 12th April 1939

Ordained: 21st June 1964


Holy Family Parish, Coventry: 1964-1965

CC Allen: 1965-1976

CC Suncroft: 1976-1980

CC Goresbridge: 1980-1993

PP Clonbullogue: 1993-2014

Retired as PP in 2014.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.

Bishop Denis’ Homily from the Requiem Mass of Fr Pat Gaynor

Requiem Mass – Fr. Pat Gaynor PE:                                                               28.04.2021

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Walsh Island @ 1pm


We gather in the Church of the Immaculate Conception here in Walsh Island to pay a faith filled farewell to Fr. Pat Gaynor.  So conscious that there are many joining in through the live-stream. I’m sorry you can’t be here, but this funeral, like every funeral must strictly abide by current Covid restrictions. I thank the many who filed past Fr. Pat’s remains yesterday. I thank Fr. Greg, Mgr. John and all who looked after liturgies here last evening. I want to sincerely acknowledge the role played by Fr. Larry Malone in his care and attention to Fr. Pat. 

Today our prayers and thoughts are with you Fr. Pat’s cousins, his brother priests, Paul Flint and the wonderful team of carers, you his former parishioners from Clonbullogue and all his earlier appointments and his wide circle of friends. Easter celebrates resurrection and new life. Let us pray that Fr. Pat earns the reward he richly deserves having journied through his valley of darkness with illness in recent years, may he now enjoy the gentle repose he greatly deserves and so we pray …


All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road.

Always on my drive over here from Carlow to Walsh Island, the closer you get to Clonbullogue and Walsh Island the image of sheep and lambs grazing in the fields is a frequent sight. It brings to mind that splendid poem by Katherine Tynan, first published nearly one hundred years ago in 1922. Fr. Pat loved a story and loved telling it well. He would be very much at home alongside the two on the road to Emmaus. He had, as many remarked, a great wit and kind of whimsical sense of humour. He would laugh himself at the story and whether you grasped it or not, you found yourself laughing with him. Illness in recent years robbed him of so much. He found it impossible to control diabetes and with the gradual onset of dementia, living alone was no longer on the cards. At the outset I would want today to register a huge thanks to the staff at Oakdale Nursing Home in Portarlington, to Paul, Josephine and the very devoted team of carers, as well as Pat’s cousins and friends who maintained that very close contact to the end.  

The sheep with their little lambs
Passed me by on the road;
All in the April evening
I thought on the Lamb of God.

For the two at the Emmaus supper table, recognition came too late. Covid has impacted hugely our prayer and worship, how we gather for the funerals of loved ones, how we connect with our parish on a Sunday through Facebook or webcam. Covid has determined how we see our vulnerable relatives in Nursing Homes. Spiritual communion is not the same as physically receiving Eucharist. We need nourishment for body and soul. We need food for our journey, wherever that brings us. Fr. Pat over his 57 years of priesthood has had an abundance of nourishment for the journey he embarked on last Monday at fifteen minutes before midday. 

Because of the Covid restrictions around funeral numbers, it was only last Monday that the cap on congregation eased from ten to twenty-five, which is still very restrictive for the generous Irish tradition of funerals and obsequies. Writing a message of condolence on has become the new way of connecting with loved ones in their time of grief. At one stage last evening I counted eleven pages of messages relating to Fr. Pat. Messages that had the common thread of “a true gentleman”, “a devout, caring and loyal friend”, “always up for a bit of devilment”, “a great sense of humour”. Messages from parishioners spanning all his appointments – Coventry, Allen, Suncroft, Goresbridge and here in Clonbullogue. And many messages from his native Grange in Tullow parish.   

Up in the blue, blue mountains
Dewy pastures are sweet;
Rest for the little bodies,
Rest for the little feet.

Fr. Pat was on the smaller side of the equation, at least standing beside a six foot four Bishop! His passing offers now rest for those little feet.  I recall one Christmas calling to see him here in Walsh Island and I couldn’t find him anywhere, no answer to the door, and naturally sometimes you feared he had a fall perhaps. Not at all, he was out for a walk around the village. He was always amazed at someone thinking of him or visiting him. He’d say to me “imagine you came from Carlow to see me”. And yet he would be first to arrive at the Chrism Mass every year. He loved that liturgy and always travelled with friends from here.

Rand also travelling home to his beloved Grange. He is the last of his family now to pass on. The Gaynor name stretches back two centuries and beyond. One of the beautiful messages on mentioned how the people of Grange “will long remember the last member of a family that nurtured missionaries for work in Australia, the Solomon Islands and Africa, across three centuries”. Today’s generation has much to do, to emulate the Gaynor tradition, but it is a different world and that’s not all the fault of Covid. Pat loved golf in his day, the occasional play or concert. I read he even went to Andre Rieu! When he was able to, he lived life to the full, but always in his gentle manner.

All in the April evening,
April airs were abroad;
I saw the sheep with their lambs,
And thought on the Lamb of God.

He will now look on the lamb of God. He shares an anniversary in our diocesan calendar of deceased priests with Fr. Con Phelan – Ballyfin (1963) and Fr. Tommy O’Malley – Raheen (1994) who both died also on April 26th. He will be forever remembered by his brother priests on that day. He will be laid to rest here in Walsh Island, among a people who he proudly called his own and who will remember him every day. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.