Parish Of Birth
Cobh (Diocese of Cloyne)
Pontifical Irish College Rome, Italy.
Details Of Ordination
St. John Lateran, Rome
Ballyphehane CC : 12/12/1961 – 24/3/1968
St. Finbarr’s Seminary, Farranferris : 1/9/1947 – 12/12/1961
Chaplain, St Angela’s Convent : 8/8/1945 – 12/12/1961
Post-Graduate Studies/Maynooth : 1943 – 1945
Fr. Hegarty died on 24/3/1968 when the Aer Lingus Viscount ‘St. Phelim’ plane, with 61 people on board -en route from Cork to London, crashed into the sea off the Tuskar Rock Lighthouse (Wexford). All on board died. Only fourteen bodies were recovered from the sea, 13 of these were positively identified. Fr. Hegarty’s body has never been recovered.
He was on his way to attend an annual social and dance held by former residents of Ballyphehane Parish at the Irish Centre, London.
Ironically, Fr. Hegarty was the Chaplain to Cork Airport and it was he who annointed the members of the Gaule family of Youghal, Co. Cork who lost their lives in a private plane crash on the 7th August 1964 – the only other fatal crash out of Cork since the airport opened on the 16/10/1961.
He was a nephew of Canon Wm. J. Hegarty, P.P., V.F., Kinsale (1957-1959).
When Radio Eireann announced shortly after midday on Sunday, March 24th, that contact had been lost with an Aer Lingus Vicount flying from Cork to London, a large number of people knew immediately that the Diocese of Cork had lost one of its most dedicated priests. On board the ill-fated plane was Fr. E.J. Hegarty of Ballyphehane, travelling to London to be present at a Social for people of Ballyphehane resident in London. The whole parish knew that he was going, and he was bringingwith him the greetings and best wishes of the home parish to the London exiles.
Fr. Hegarty’s presence on the ill-fated plane provides an interesting side-light on his method of working. The meeting which he was to attend was to be on Tuesday evening; he had planned to spend the intervening two days travelling around London, making contact with members of his parish whom he knew to be in need of a reminder about the practice of their Faith.-The Fold, April 1968.
Date Of Death
His uncle, Very Rev. Wm. J. Hegarty, PP