04 Jul 2022

Bishop of Limerick pays tribute to ‘exemplary' priest

Bishop of Limerick pays tribute to ‘exemplary' priest

The late RT Rev Monsignor Liam Boyle

THE RT Rev Monsignor Liam, Boyle who died on December 2, was an exemplary priest, said the Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy.

Msgr Boyle's funeral Mass took place in Newcastle West, where he had served as parish priest for 21 years.

“He fought the good fight right to the end,” the Bishop said in his tribute to him.

“We can be grateful for his many years of faithful and generous, gracious, encouraging and courteous ministry in many parishes, in the Lourdes pilgrimage, across the Diocese as Vicar General and, not least, in the world of soccer, ” Bishop Leahy added.

“Without doubt, Liam Boyle’s passing marks the end of an era in the Diocese,” Canon Donal McNamara said in his homily. He described his friend and mentor as “a man of faith, commitment and of service, a man of his word who had the courage of his convictions”.

And, although Msgr Boyle had been unwell for a number of years, “like a true Christian, Liam bore his cross of ill health with patience and dignity,” the Canon said. He felt honoured and privileged, he said, to have been asked to pray at his friend’s bedside “as he breathed his last”.

“He was highly respected by the people whom he served in every parish and everyone was treated equally. I was greatly impressed by his efficiency, his administrative skills, his piety, work ethic, fair play and respect for his fellow clergy,” the Canon continued.

Msgr Boyle’s talents and expertise were a great support to successive bishops, Bishops Jeremiah Newman, Donal Murray and Brendan Leahy, the Canon pointed out. But his talent, expertise and commitment were also recognised by the Holy Father when “Liam travelled as chaplain with the Irish soccer team to Rome in 1990 and was welcomed warmly and blessed by the Holy Father as was the team.”

“His witness, spiritual leadership and example had a profound impact on the team and indeed on the nation, because, like it or not, he became a clerical celebrity back in the day,” the Canon said.

Among the gifts brought to the altar during the Requiem Mass were an Irish soccer jersey.

“Msgr Liam was a gift to his family and to the diocese in so many ways. We’ve shared in his faith, we’ve been lifted by his enthusiasm, cheered by his smile, warmed by his friendship and now God’s gift is returning to him, and Liam whose death we mourn today is at home at rest and at peace,” Canon McNamara concluded.

Msgr Boyle was born in Rathkeale in 1930, the son of William and Bridie Boyle. He was ordained in June, 1954 and served for almost four years in the Diocese of Edinburgh before being appointed as a curate to Knockaderry Clouncagh parish and later St Michael’s.

He was appointed administrator of St Joseph’s in 1973 and Vicar General of the Diocese in 1978. The same year, he was appointed Prelate of Honour by His Holiness, Pope John Paul II.

He served as parish priest in Croom, in Christ the King and finally was appointed to Newcastle West in 1992, retiring in 2003. For a number of years, he was Lourdes Diocesan Director.

For the last years of his life, he lived in Knockaderry but on a weekly basis met up with his fellow priests and friends of long-standing Fathers Frank Moriarty, Peadar De Burca and Paddy Howard.

He died peacefully, aged 91, in Milford Care Centre and was reposed in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West where his Requiem Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Leahy and priests of the diocese on December 4.

He was buried afterwards in the grounds of the church.

Msgr Boyle was predeceased by his parents and sister Kitty Curtin and is mourned by his sister Aine, nephew Larry Curtin, his wife Philippa, grand niece and grand nephews Eimear, Aidan and Declan, his many cousins, friends, his Bishop and the Clergy of the Diocese.

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