Dangerous convent leads to reburial of priests in Mitchelstown
Due to the deteriorating state of the old convent in Mitchelstown, the bodies of two Deans were exhumed from the convent chapel last week and reburied outside the convent walls.
Canon Michael Fitzgerald explained that when the Presentation Sisters left the town in 2003, the remains of Dean Morgan O'Brien and Dean Denis Mahony couldn't be located. Just last week on December 11, with the permission of the convent owner and in accordance with Cork County Council and the HSE, the remains were reverently exhumed. Both Deans were then reburied in the nearby churchyard, beside the burial plot of Canon John Sheehan.
"As the convent continued to deteriorate, the exhumation became more urgent. It is a relief to have the process successfully completed, as it is important that we respect our dead," Canon Fitzgerald said. On the day the bodies were re-interred, prayers at the gravesides were led by Canon Fitzgerald, Canon O'Leary and Fr Greene and it was Tom O'Keeffe who voluntarily conducted the search for the bodies over a number of years and led the exhumation.
Dean Morgan O'Brien, who was born in Youghal in 1798 and who died on November 13, 1868, would have been very well known in the town. He served as Parish Priest in Mitchelstown from 1845-1868 up until the time he passed away. Many referred to him as 'Morgan the builder' as he was responsible for the completion of the building of the Parish Church tower, both Killacluig and Ballygiblin churches and he also introduced the Presentation Sisters and Christian Brothers to the parish.
Dean Denis Mahony succeeded Dean O'Brien in 1869 and before he came to Mitchelstown, he served in Coachford and Inniscarra. He died on April 7, 1881.
To mark the reburial of the two Deans, Mass will be offered for both of them on Sunday, December 22 at 12 noon.
At a meeting of the Northern Area Committee in Mallow this week, the convent and the state it's in, was again high on the agenda.
Cllr Frank O'Flynn called for an update on the current position and Tom Stritch informed councillors that their solicitor is proceeding matters so that the convent owner can be brought to court for failing to carry out works ordered by the council under a dereliction order. Cllr Kevin O'Keeffe also raised the point about horses being on the land.
Thursday 19th December 6:50pm