Much-loved priest was on his way to meet friends

Fr Florian Farrelly: On his way to meet friends in Killarney

A former guardian in the Franciscan Friary in Killarney has been killed in a tragic car accident.

Fr Florian Farrelly was driving to Kerry to meet with friends on Wednesday evening when his car was in a collision with another vehicle.

The crash occurred on the N21 road from Newcastle West to Killarney shortly after 4.00pm. The priest was the driver in one of the cars which collided with another at Ballingowan.

Fr Florian, who was 87, was based with the Rossnowlagh community in Co Donegal after a long and fruitful life in the priesthood.

Born John Farrelly, in Sutton, Dublin, he joined the Franciscan Order in 1953 and took on the religious name Florian. He celebrated his profession the following year.

The Franciscan Friary in Killarney

After studies in Galway and Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood in Rome in 1961 and his younger brother Paschal (Michael) also entered the Franciscan Order.

He spent time ministering in many friaries throughout Ireland, beginning in Waterford before spending a long time in Drogheda where was appointed guardian.

He became guardian in the Franciscan Friary in Killarney in the 1980s before moving on to head up the community in Multyfarnham.

In a tribute, the Franciscan Order in Killarney said: “Florian’s kindness, his attentive listening and gentle presence were a blessing in the lives of many people he came in contact with over his decades of Gospel service”.

The community said Florian was on his way to the friary in Killarney when the accident happened.

“He was really looking forward to spending time with us and with his very good friends in the area. We had his room ready and were waiting for him to arrive when we got the sad news,” said Killarney Friary Guardian Br Pat Lynch.

The funeral arrangements will be confirmed later.

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