The Very Rev. Canon Brian MacNamara, a Priest of Kilmore Diocese, passed away on Wednesday, October 11. Aged 86, he was in the 63rd year of priesthood. He had served as Parish Priest of Killesher for almost 30 years. 

Brian MacNamara was born on January 12, 1931, at Ernevale in Belturbet, Co. Cavan. He was educated at St. Patrick’s College Cavan and, after discerning a vocation to priesthood, he continued his studies at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome and the Lateran University where he was awarded a License in Sacred Theology.

Brian was ordained to the priesthood on March 5, 1955 by Cardinal Clemente Micara in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran. 

Upon ordination he was first sent to serve for a brief period in Birmingham; returning to Kilmore he served as Curate in Coronea (1956-1961), Maghera (1961-1963), Manorhamilton (1963-1973), and Arva (1973-1983) before being appointed P.P. of Killesher in 1983 where he ministered until his retirement from active ministry in 2012. 

Fr. Brian has been described as “an extraordinarily gifted man, but perhaps his greatest gift was his humility.”

As an only son and heir to the family farm he made a life-changing decision when he went to the seminary but he maintained a lifelong interest in farming.

An avid GAA supporter, he togged out for the Cavan minor team which played in Croke Park in 1949, and he enjoyed trips to local matches or to national fixtures.

As a pastor in Northern Ireland during difficult and tense times his great sociability endeared him to all sides of the community. He was no sacristy priest but could be found in the midst of the people he served.

His mischievous sense of humour enriched every social gathering and his solid pastoral approach brought comfort to his people in times of pain and loss. 

Upon his retirement from active ministry, Fr. Brian moved to Derrylin.
In recent months, as his health declined, he moved to the Tilery Nursing Home, back in his beloved Killesher, and it was from there that the Lord called him home on October 11.

A wake was held in his former residence. The removal took place to St. Ninnidh’s Church, Derrylin, on Thursday, October 12. The funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, October 13, and the burial took place in St. Patrick’s cemetery, Killesher. Dr. O’Reilly, Bishop of Kilmore, was the main celebrant.