Parish Of Birth
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland
Details Of Ordination
St. Patrick’s College Chapel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Retired ex Clonakilty PP : 4/9/1990
Clonakilty PP : 23/3/1980 – 4/9/1990
Togher PP : 18/1/1977 – 23/3/1980
Watergrasshill PP : 20/6/1974 – 18/1/1977
St. Patrick’s CC (Lr. Rd.) : 20/6/1968 – 20/6/1974
Clontead Adm : 18/12/1965 – 20/6/1968
Courtmacsherry CC : 20/12/1963 – 18/12/1965
Dunmanway CC : 5/7/1962 – 20/12/1963
Clogagh CC : 1956 – 5/7/1962
Ardfield CC : 1949 – 1956
Cape Clear CC : 1948 – 1949
Clonakilty CC : 1947 – 1948
Ministry Abroad/ Hexham & Newcastle : 1940 – 1947
Appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Ross on the 23/3/1980.
Appointed Papal Legate with title of Monsignor in 1980.
Date Of Death
Place Of Death
Parochial House, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Place Of Burial
The Immaculate Conception Church Grounds, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Within a few days of Monsignor Daly’s death, I met a lady who summed him up in nine words! “We?ll miss him from before the Blessed Sacrament”. I wish I could improve on that. But I would like to expand for a start on just one of the themes contained therein. It is not by accident that the central mystery of our religion is called the “Eucharist” – “a giving of thanks”. Neither was it by accident that those chosen to welcome the Incarnate Word-Mary, Zachary, Simeon-were all gripped by a deep sense of fulfilment and an overpowering sense of gratitude to God. Michael Daly fitted into this context.
He grew up in the parish of Castlehaven (Gleann Bhearachain) where the language still lingered and the old traditions and mortas chine were alive and vibrant. His last appointment was to Clonakilty, a parish brilliantly served by its parish priests for well over two hundred years.
Monsignor Daly was the sixteenth pastor of the modern parish to live in the town. He was keenly aware of the God-given role of his predecessors in handing on the Faith and the high standards of pastoral care he had inherited from them. As a close friend and a former parishioner of Clonakilty, I was immeasurably proud of the way he lived up to the noble traditions of those who preceded him. In 1980, he put his whole heart and soul into the centennial celebrations of the parish church. He later undertook to locate the exact site of the humble chapel in Old Chapel Lane and to erect there a commemorative plaque.
Michael Daly was ordained in Maynooth in 1940 and served in St. Mary’s Stockton-on-Tees, Clonakilty, Oilean Cleire, Ardfield, Clogagh, Dunmanway, Courtmacsherry, Belgooly, St. Patrick’s as curate; and as pastor in Watergrasshill, Togher and Clonakilty. I have become aware of the high esteem in which he was held in all these places. A retired teacher wrote to tell me of his loving care of First Communion classes. When I succeeded him in Clogagh in 1961, I was amazed to find that he had a Legion praesidium of twelve men and six ladies! There was no window-dressing. He had time for everyone.
Those who cherish his memory were happy that he had received the Call on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception – also the titular of the church he had served so well. As for the Call being sudden, his, too, was the tradition as preserved in a lovely prayer by Molly Ni Cheadagain in Oilean Cleire. Molly was crippled by arthritis for a large part of her life. Monsignor Daly and I were privileged to bring her Holy Communion in the 1950s.
“Nar thuga Dia aon drochbhas, na gearrbhas na bas obann duinn, ach deaghbhas agus bas naofa ar staid na ngrast.
Bas le h-ola agus le h-aithri,
i gciall agus i gcuimhne,
i ngra agus in eagla De.
-James Coombes, PP.
First published in the Cork and Ross Diocesan Directory 1996.