'A bubbly talented and creative man' - death of beloved Laois priest

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Death has taken place of a well known Laois priest

The late Fr Pat Breen

Fond tributes have been paid to the late Father Patrick (Pat) Breen, CC of Timahoe, Laois and formerly Derrykearn, Raheen, Laois.

Fr Breen passed away peacefully on Thursday August 13 at The Ballard Lodge Nursing Home, Portlaoise.

Many fond tributes have been paid to Fr Breen by parisioners around Laois who knew him, many remembering his artistic skills and his warm character.

St Colman's NS parents council in Stradbally wrote the following.

"RIP Fr Breen.He will be so fondly remembered by all of the former pupils of Scoil Aonghusa and the B.N.S Stradbally ,where for years he was a regular visitor. With all his yarns, stories, his fantastic artwork and unique sense of humour....he endeared himself to everyone. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam".

Alan Dillon in Stradbally wrote the following lovely words.

"Father Breen was a awesome character. He would always put a smile on your face, listening to his great stories in school to his sermons in mass. He was a bubbly talented and creative man who always dipped inside his pocket in the classroom to pull out a piece of charcoal to do unique and outstanding pictures to the delighted of students who would be delighted to see a half hour of classtime pass by with the honour of being greeted by this man. Fr Pat Breen may you rest in peace, you will be fondly remembered by parishes and will never be forgotten Rip".

Fr Breen had been retired a number of years and will be fondly remembered in Timahoe as elsewhere.

Roghan Headen from Timahoe described the regard in which Fr Breen was held there.

"He always checked in on the life of Timahoe Village through those who visited him regularly. He arrived in Timahoe in 1991 replacing Father Aughney and for next number of years gave great service to the parish and Timahoe in particular. Widely loved for his sermons and his wit, and his involvement in the running of the local National school. Fr Breen was a keen walker and could often be seen pounding the roads of Timahoe and the Parish," he said.

"Served mass for him also went to see him earlier this year in nursing home and had a good chat with him.A pure gentleman Straight to heaven Patrick. RIP FRIEND," said Michael Hickey.

"Rest in peace Fr. Breen. A lovely man who did my wedding. Remember him calling into my mom and dad when he’d be out walking. The light of heaven to you Fr Breen.RIP," wrote Bernie Hayden.

"One of the kindest most talented man. His art work when I was in primary school was amazing and his gentle manner. Rip fr Breen," said Eileen Waters. 

The Timahoe Community Hall Facebook page wrote the following tribute.

"Very sad to learn today of the passing of our beloved Fr Breen. We have many fond memories of his time in the Parish - from his visits to the schools where he would draw pictures on the blackboard as he would share stories about the importance of kindness, to seeing him out walking while always having the time to stop and chat with everyone he met along the way. The memory of his time in Timahoe will always be treasured by many.
Our deepest and sincere sympathy goes out to the Breen family at this sad time," they said.

Fr Breen is mourned by his sister Ina Reilly and his niece Heather, extended family, relatives and his many friends. He is fondly remembered in the parishes of the diocese where he served so faithfully and was deeply appreciated, Rathoe, Broadford, Clonaslee, St Mullins and Timahoe. Bishop Denis Nulty and the priests of Kildare & Leighlin Diocese mourn his loss.

Remains reposing at St Michael's Church, Timahoe, Laois from 12noon until prayer service at 7:30pm this Friday August 14.

Funeral Mass will take place at 2pm on Saturday in St Fintan's Church, Raheen, Abbeyleix, interment to follow in the adjoining cemetery. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings please adhere to current HSE guidelines in the church and in the cemetery. 

Fr Pat's Funeral will be streamed live on YouTube here.