Tribute: Fr Ailbe Ó Bric is laid to rest in Clerihan

Noel Dundon


Noel Dundon


Sad death of much loved Clerihan parish priest Fr Ailbe O'Bric

The late Fr. Ailbe O'Bric

Thousands turn out to pay their final respects to a highly respected man

Very Rev Fr Ailbe O'Bric was laid to rest in Clerihan this week as thousands of mourners attended to pay their final respects to a man who made an enormous contribution to the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly, and especially the parishes in which he ministered throughout a distinguished vocation.

Aged 70, Fr O'Bric was a kind, gentle and unassuming pastor who left a lasting mark wherever his ministry brought him. He was renowned for his warm smile and his easy manner, but behind the soft, gentlemanly exterior was a fierce determination to spread the Gospel which he held so dear. His caring attitude and interest in people ensured that he made friends easily and the reaction in his final parish to news of his illness and the subsequent care he received from the community, was ample evidence of his goodness and kindness being reciprocated.

Fr Ailbe was a highly regarded colleague of the priests of the Archdiocese and of Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly and Archbishop Dermot Clifford before him. A native of Killenaule, who followed in the footsteps of another native, the late Archbishop Tom Morris, Fr Ailbe was a real lover of the Irish language and all things Irish. He loved to play a round of golf and had many other interest besides throughout a life well lived in the service of others. 

During his illness (motor neuron disease) which was diagnosed some eighteen months ago, Fr Ailbe displayed remarkable fortitude and strength, working away in the service of his parish until it became impossible for him to continue. During this time, the people of Clerihan and his many friends were simply magnificent as they called in, chatted, presented him with meals and cared for him. Perhaps it was just by being there for him that they showed most how they cared.

Above: Clerihan Church was packed to capacity as Fr Ailbe Ó Brics funeral Mass was celebrated.

He had many visitors also at Acorn Lodge Nursing Home in Cashel where he passed away having enjoyed the best of care possible during his final weeks and days.  Fr Ailbe is very deeply regretted by his loving sister Bláithín, brothers Deaglán and Colm, sister-in-law, niece, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, Archbishop and Priests of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly., relatives, friends and people of the Parish of Clerihan.

Throngs of mourners attended his lying in repose in St Michael's Church, Clerihan and also the Concelebrated Requiem Mass with his great friend and acting PP, Rev Fr Enda Brady as Chief Celebrant - Fr Enda has just been appointed PP of Cashel in the recent clerical changes. The Church was packed to capacity and outside in the yard, hundreds more listened intently to the many tributes being paid to Fr Ailbe, to his work in the church and to the legacy he leaves.  As the sun shone on a brisk August afternoon, Fr Ailbe was laid to rest shortly afterwards in the adjoining church grounds.

Fr Ailbe Ó Bric made a difference to the lives of many.  Surely, no greater tribute can be paid to a pastor than that his parish and his people turned out in such force to honour his life, and his death.

May he now rest in the peace of the Heaven he preached about and strived for.