HUGE crowds of mourners, including 61 priests, attended the funeral Mass in Tipperary Town of the former parish priest of Pallasgreen/Templebraden.
Fr James Holloway passed away peacefully at his residence in Moymore, Pallasgreen in the early hours of Christmas Eve,
In a moving tribute by a good friend of the Pallasgreen/Templebraden parish priest for 22 year, Aine Commons said it was his wish to celebrate Mass on Christmas Day.
“Alas it was not to be and to quote Fr Conor Hayes when he prayed for Fr Holloway on Christmas morning, ‘he went home for Christmas’,” said Ms Commons.
The 77-year-old, who had been in ill-health, received excellent care at home by his devoted housekeeper Mary O’Connor and her family, and received many visits from relations, friends, priests and parishioners.
This was fitting as Fr Holloway, a man of deep faith, was renowned for visiting the sick.
“He had boundless empathy and compassion for those with illness and despair, as many will testify he had a healing touch. His endless visits to the sick and those grieving and in need brought comfort and consolation. He possessed a form of wit that would make anyone smile when he so wished.
“Any person could not have a better friend. He was a great parish priest, and a man who gave comfort, compassion, healing and faith to so many in his life, he will be missed and leaves a vacant space in many lives,” said Ms Commons.
When Fr Holloway left this world at his side were Mary and John O’Connor, Fr Hayes and Bernie O’Sullivan.
Ms Commons said it was Fr Holloway’s wish that as he was christened in St Michael’s Church in Tipperary that he would also repose there, and his funeral Mass be said. Knockane GAA and parishioners gave a guard of honour as his coffin left the church. When the hearse reached Pallasgreen another guard of honour by Pallasgreen GAA, friends and parishioners awaited. Fr Holloway was conveyed to his chosen resting spot at St Columba’s Cemetery, Pallasgreen where he was laid to rest on Thursday, December 27 to the sound of Nearer My God To Thee.
Fr Holloway’s passing is deeply regretted by his sister Alice, brother John, cousins, his devoted housekeeper Mary, the O’Connor family, his relations and many friends including parishioners and priests of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly.