Tributes have been paid to a popular Co. Armagh parish priest who passed away after a short illness.
Fr John Byrne lost his battle for life at Newry hospice on Saturday morning, having only being diagnosed five weeks ago.
Éire Óg GAC in Craigavon led the tributes to their parish priest, who up until recently was celebrating mass at St. Anthony’s.
A spokesperson for the club, said: “On behalf of Éire Óg GAC we offer our condolences and ask members to keep Fr Byrne’s family in their prayers over the coming days. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”
Lismore Comprehensive, where fr Byrne was a governor, commented: “It is with great sadness that we have learned of the untimely passing of our esteemed Governor, Parish Priest and Friend of Lismore, Fr John Byrne R.I.P.
“The Lismore Community offer the support of their prayers and deepest sympathy to Fr. Byrne’s family, friends, and parishioners at this time. Go dtuga Dia suaimhneas sioraí dó.”
St Peter’s & St Paul’s Parishes, Lurgan added: “We are desperately saddened by the untimely but peaceful death of Fr John Byrne after a short illness in Newry hospice.
“Current parish priest of Moyraverty and Seagoe, he was curate in St Peter’s, Lurgan from 1992–2009 and was always a quiet, caring pastor after the model of the Good Shepherd. We pray he will look after us just as well now from the Father’s house. RIP.”
Fr Byrne’s remains arrived in Mayobridge Parochial House on Saturday evening. His remains will leave there on Monday evening at 6.15pm, arriving at Newry Cathedral for 7pm.
Those wishing to pay their respects can do so up to 10pm on Monday evening – social distancing being observed at all times.
Funeral Mass on Tuesday at 1pm in Newry Cathedral and burial afterwards in St Mary’s Cemetery.