20 November 2005
Fr Cornelius (Con) O’Driscoll SMA
Fr Con O’Driscoll SMA was a native of Aughadown, Skibbereen, Co Cork in the Diocese of Ross where he was born on 10 January 1923. His family home was later at Oakfield Lawn, Ballinlough, Cork City. He studied at the SMA houses at Cloughballymore, Kilcolgan, Co Galway and at Dromantine, Newry, Co Down and became a member of the Society of African Missions on 1 July 1945. He was ordained priest at St Colman’s Cathedral, Newry on 14 June 1949.
Appointed to Nigeria he was assigned to the Apostolic Vicariate of Asaba-Benin 1949-1953 and served in various parts of that region during the subsequent expansion of the Church there: 1954-1964 in Benin City Diocese and 1964-1973 in Warri Diocese. He was Vicar-General of Warri Diocese 1964-1969.
In 1973-1975 he was assigned to the Society’s Ballinafad College in Co Mayo. From 1976 to 1981 he worked in Clifton Diocese in England. He was then seconded to the British Province of SMA and ministered in SMA Parish, West Green, London 1981-2001. In 2001 he retired to SMA House, Blackrock Road, Cork.
During his retirement he continued to be actively involved, serving as chaplain to the Legion of Mary in which he had a life-long interest and to the Knights of Columbanus. While preparing to celebrate Mass for the Knights, on the Feast of Christ the King at the Church of the Way of the Cross, Togher, Cork, he felt unwell, sat down, collapsed and passed away immediately.
Fr O’Driscoll is surviced and mourned by his sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews including Fr Michael Waters SMA (Kontagora, Nigeria) and Fr Michael O’Driscoll of the Dioceses of Cork and Ross, succeeding generations of relatives and a wide circle of friends.
The remains were removed from SMA House, Blackrock Road to SMA Church, Wilton on Tuesday, 22 November. Most Rev John Buckley, Bishop of Cork & Ross, gave the blessing. The funeral Mass was con-celebrated at Wilton Church on Wednesday 23 November and was followed by interment in the adjoining SMA cemetery. The Provincial Superior, Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA was the principal celebrant. He was joined at the altar by Fr Michael O’Driscoll (nephew), Fr Dan Cashman SMA (who served with Fr Con in Warri Diocese), classmate Fr Patrick Jennings SMA, and British SMA Provincial Superior Fr Tom Ryan SMA. There were numerous other concelebrants representing the local Dioceses (Cork & Ross and Cloyne), Augustinians and confreres from SMA. Members of Cois Tine and the Knights of Columbanus provided guards of honour. Following the final commendation Fr Con’s favourite song “Skibbereen” was sung at the graveside.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Requiescat in pace