St Mary’s Hall in Killenaule was bedecked in gorgeous colour and bunting as hundreds of parishoners assembled to pay a very special tribute to retired parish priest of Killenaule-Moyglass, Canon Liam Ryan.
It was an evening of joy and thanksgiving at the Community Centre as the parish of Killenaule-Moyglass reflected on Canon Ryan’s 15 years of devoted ministry to the community.
Indicative of the esteem in which Holycross native Fr Liam is held, he received a huge cead mile failte when he arrived for the reception in St Mary’s Hall. Among those to greet him was his successor in the parish, Fr Jimmy O’ Donnell, PP, and Fr Danny O’Gorman, CC, Killenaule-Moyglass.
Liam Ryan’s name is synonomous with the GAA. One of Tipperary’ best known hurling referees in 1970’s-he refereed a county senior hurling final- Liam served as a very efficient Mid Tipperary GAA Board Secretary before entering the seminary to study for the priesthood. Following his ordination in 1982 he had the joy of celebrating his first Mass in Holycross Abbey, and his first appointment as curate in the Holy Family Community in Waterford.
Master of Ceremonies William O’Grady said that the large crowd present in St Mary’s hall reflected the ever present source of comfort and support Fr Ryan had been to so many people. Chairperson of the organising committee and local Councillor John Fahey recalled the great support given to him by Canon Ryan during the staging of events such as a civic reception for Killenaule native, Bishop Liam Slattery, and the visit of South Tipperary County Council members to the famous Derrynaflan Island.
Fr Jimmy O’Donnell, PP, Killenaule-Moyglass joined in the good wishes to his predecessor and thanked him for his “immense pastoral work and dedication” to the parish over the years.
Secretary of the organising committee, Sean Watts wished Canon Liam “peace, contentment and happiness” in his retirement.
In the course of his address, Canon Liam said he was “overwhelmed” by the kindness and generosity shown to him by the parish. He said he and his family were “very grateful for the lovely function” held in his honour and he was delighted to meet again with so many friends. “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support down through the years and your attendance here this evening in such great numbers” Canon Ryan added.
To mark the auspicious occasion, presentations were made to Canon Ryan on behalf of the community by Kathleen Cormack, Mary Delaney, Kathleen Fanning, and John Guiton.