Book of tributes to popular Kildare priest, the late Fr Jimmy Doyle, out next week

The service and athletic years of famed Kildare Priest Father Jimmy Doyle are being honored in an honor book due to be published next week, titled Athlete and Patron.

Father Doyle, who spent most of his four decades as a priest in County Kildare, was closely associated with the GAA in the various parishes he served.

An Athletic and Shepherd, Memories of an Inspiring Priest and GAA Devotee is a color production with more than 150 photographs and 50 stories about his life.

Unfortunately, due to the large number of Covid cases at the moment, a public launch of the book is not possible.

Father Doyle served for more than a decade in both Naas and Newbridge, and also worked in Kilcock and Balyna. At the time of his untimely death at the age of 76 in October 2020, he was a priest of the Diocese of Cooleragh, Staplestown near Clane.

Father Jimmy after his inauguration as PP Cooleragh Staplestown in 2014 with Bishop Dennis Nolte, Mary Early and Mick O’Dwyer

Father Doyle was known as a soft-spoken, affable person and popular with young and old – especially the sick. He had an easy wit and was a huge fan of Gaelic games.

Bishop Dennis Newult, Bishop Paul Dempsey, and fellow priests of Father Jimmy, as well as family and friends recounted their memories of the sports-loving priest of Athlete and Shepherd, along with Revd Gregg Ryan, former Dean of the Church of Ireland at Clane and Millicent.

World-renowned soprano Celine Byrne shares her memories and RTE sports journalist Damien Lawler, who lives in Nas, remembers his friendship with Father Doyle.

The so-called Fab Four – the current Kildare GAA senior management team made up of Glenn Ryan, Anthony Rainbow, Johnny Doyle and Dermot Early shared their personal stories of how they encouraged Father Jimmy. Glenn Ryan described him as the unofficial confidant of many Kildare players.

The Fab Four wrote a tribute to Father Jimmy on the book

GAA Kildare County Council Chairman Mick Gorman (St. Lawrence) said Father Jamie charmed schoolchildren with stories of GAA glory and influenced many clubs. the father. He said Jimmy was a huge supporter of the boycott teams and a regular attendance at conferences.

Father Jimmy has been associated with Gaelic games since he was a youngster at Carlow. He said the best gift he received was a soccer gift when he was six years old. He played football for the Carlow County Seniors during the 1960s and won three county football medals with his native Kildaven in 1966, 1970 and 1973. He is often noted that he was the only priest in his parish to have achieved such an feat. Earlier, he had led Kildafin to win the Junior Hurling Championship in 1962.

Father Jimmy’s Gaelic Carlow’s career has been outlined by fellow players including Tom Kehoe, George Darcy, Christy O’Neill and Cyril Hughes with an overview of sports journalist Charlie Keegan.

Father Jimmy almost never became a priest. He was the only son of four sisters. When he left high school, there was a need to work on the family farm. His father was reluctant to let Jimmy proceed to the priesthood because he wanted him to inherit the farm. Eventually, after six years, his father relented and Jimmy began his biblical studies.

During those six years as a full-time farmer, he was a leading member of Carlow Macra na Feirme. He kept a constant interest in farming and returned to the family home on his spare day every Monday to help out on the farm run by his sister.

The book was prompted by an outpouring of grief on social media and genuine regret over Father Doyle’s death last year. The title of the sportsbook and sponsor is taken from Leonard Cohen’s song, Going Home.

The collection of stories will be of interest to everyone interested in sports and the life of a priest who loved himself to so many people in a time of crisis for the church itself.

This book would be a perfect Christmas gift.

It is supported by Kildare and Carlow GAA and by Moorefield and Sarsfields Clubs and can be ordered at a discount by calling: Lorcan O’Rourke, 142 Moorefield Park, Droichead Nua, Co. Kildare mailed or emailed to lorcanorourke142@gmail. com. It will also be available in libraries across the county. Proceeds will go to designated charities.

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