“A COMPASSIONATE and kind pastor to all people … there wasn’t a day that went by without him helping someone.”
Just some of the tributes paid to the late Fr John Cummins at Thursday’s meeting of Carlow Municipal District, as members lamented the tragic passing of the former administrator of Carlow Cathedral.
Cllr Fergal Browne proposed a vote of sympathy, describing Fr Cummins as a very important person to so many parishioners, officiating at so many weddings, family occasions and parish events during his years in Carlow. “His death is a huge blow to Carlow, Abbeyleix and Newbridge,” said cllr Browne.
Cllr Walter Lacey remarked that his death had sent “shockwaves throughout Carlow”, adding that Fr Cummins was on the board of management of Scoil Mhuire gan Smál with him during his time in Carlow. Cllr Lacey said that Fr Cummins had married his own daughter Rachel and son-in-law Frank in one of his last weddings in Carlow back in 2017.
“The effort he put into the wedding was no different to the effort he put into every wedding he did, that was the nature of the man,” he said.
Cllr John Pender said he served with Fr Cummins on Carlow VEC (now CKETB) and described his death “a huge blow to the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin”.
Cllr Fintan Phelan described Fr Cummins as “a young priest, a gentleman and a real role model”, adding that people in Carlow had been shocked by his untimely death.
Cllr Andrea Dalton referred to Fr Cummins’ work with the agency Accord and how he had developed the pre-marriage course in Carlow working with many local couples. “He was a very likable and humane man, but also a very learned and intellectual man,” she said, referring also to Fr Cummins’ time in Rome.
“I always thought he was good bishop material,” she added sadly.
Cllr Jim Deane described Fr Cummins as a “compassionate and kind man, a pastor to all people”.
“There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t help someone,” cllr Deane reflected.
Mayor of Carlow cllr Ken Murnane expressed the sympathies of all to Fr Cummins’ family colleagues and parishioners, adding: “Such a tragic accident is hard to come to terms with.”