News from Times Past with Brian Gabriel

Denis (Canon) Lynch P.P. Blarney 1894 – 1911

LYNCH – On June 8th, at his residence, Parochial House, Blarney, Very Rev. Denis Canon Lynch P.P. Remains will be removed to Blarney Church this (Friday) evening at 7 o’clock. Solemn Requiem Office and Mass in Blarney Church, on to-morrow (Saturday) at 11 o’clock. Internment immediately afterwards. R.I.P. No flowers by request. (Cork Examiner 9/6/1911.)

Denis Lynch, a native Irish speaker, was born in Macroom Parish in 1839. He studied for the priesthood in Maynooth from 1859 until his ordination there in 1864/65. He served for many years as a Curate in Midleton. On the 15th June 1879, he preached the sermon of the first Mass in the new but unfinished Cathedral in Cobh, at which there were 6,500 people in the congregation. He was appointed P.P. of Lisgoold in 1886 and set about renovating the 2 parish churches. He was a priest with unfailing charity, a great promoter on the G.A.A. in Lisgoold, a staunch nationalist and an unwavering advocate of the oppressed, solving a major rent dispute for the tenant farmers of Leamlara. He was appointed P.P., for 17 years, of the United Parishes of Blarney and Whitechurch in 1894, becoming Canon in 1898. After a prolonged illness he died on 8th June 1911, aged 71 years. On his headstone he is described as a staunch friend, gallant patriot and zealous pastor. He is buried in the grounds of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Blarney.

(The following report was printed in Cork Examiner Friday 9th June 1911) It is with very deep regret we announce the death of Very Rev. Canon Lynch P.P. Blarney, which occurred yesterday after a long illness. The deceased clergyman had attained a ripe age and to the last he retained those fine faculties which distinguished him as a scholar and a Churchman. A man of deep culture, pious, charitable, benevolent, and philanthropic, he endeared himself to all by his blend of beautiful gifts, as much as by his unostentatious and kindly disposition. He was a priest in the true sense of the word, a Saggarth who maintained the best traditions that cluster around that revered name. In all matters concerning the spiritual well-being of his flock, he was actively and tenderly solicitous, while in the temporal concerns of his people he manifested an interest which found expression, not alone in kindly council and advice, readily given, but in numerous valuable services that were rendered, regardless of considerations of time and of trouble. For many a year to come his genial presence and his kindly influence will be remembered, by the people among whom he ministered, and they will treasure in their inner-most hearts, recollections of his goodness, his unfailing charity, his active benevolence, and his religious zeal. Whether in Midleton, where he officiated as a curate for many years, or in Lisgoold, or in Blarney, his flock looked to him not alone as pastor, who was a bright ornament to the great Church to which he belonged, but as a sure guide who would lead them by the hand in matters of difficulty and help them in their troubles and their cares. He was a Nationalist who did not content himself with mere lip service; he was a Nationalist who gave expression to deep seated convictions, in season and out of season. In the stormy days of the land war when association with the people’s cause spelled risk, and involved sacrifice, he was an unbending advocate of the popular clarina. Indeed, he was a supporter of the Irish Pledge-bound Party, from the time it was founded by Parnell, and when in later days it was attacked and assailed, there was no more powerful, no more faithful, no more consistent supporter of the Party and of the great principles for which it stood than the revered deceased Canon. Later developments in the political fight only strengthened his adherence to the Irish Party and the policy they pursued, and on every occasion which circumstances called for a profession of his political faith, he openly avowed his admiration of the statesmanship of Mr. John Redmond, and his trust in the methods and the principles which guided their action. As a preacher, the deceased Canon possessed remarkable gifts and his style of pulpit oratory evinced pious feeling, fervour and force, and the many who felt and were inspired by his beautiful discourses, will tenderly remember the preacher and the sermons. In every relation of life as a priest, he gave an example answerable to the best tradition and ideals of the Irish Church. His simple unobtrusive piety, and the deep contemplative spirit which invested it with a beauty, deeply impressed those to whom he ministered. The tidings of his death will awaken abiding memories of the charms of his personality, the goodness of his heart, his devotion to Mother Church, his love for the poor and his untiring efforts for the spiritual and temporal welfare of those who were committed to his charge.

(The following report was printed in The Cork Examiner Monday June 12th, 1911) Removal of the Remains The deep sense of universal sorrow with which his faithful parishioners of Blarney regard the lamented demise of their loved Parish Priest, viz., Rev. Canon Lynch was afforded a fitting outward testimony last evening in the universal concourse which participated in the sad ceremony of the removal of his remains to the Parish Church. It is only the simple truth to say that there is hardly a person in the parish to whom the news of the revered pastor’s death didn’t bring with it something of the feeling of personal affliction and loss, and the most touching tributes to his kindliness of heart, and his regard for his flock find expression among all classes. He had endeared himself to his people in a manner which is seldom surpassed, even in Ireland, and the trust and affection which repaid his solicitude and care was ample and fervent. Rich and poor, gentle and simple esteemed him as a truly great and good priest, whose one object in life was the advancement of the welfare, spiritual and temporal of his parishioners, and whose influence to that end was exercised with a spirit of abiding love and Christian consideration which ennobled every act and purpose of his life. And in proportion as his attributes impressed themselves on those to whom he ministered, so their affections warmed to him in un-stinted measure until their estimate came to be spoken of him as numbers gave expression to at last evening’s impressive and touching function. That they would soon not have his like amongst them again. Practically every man and woman and boy and girl in the Parish attended the removal and the cortege was so great that it extended over a good portion of the mile of road which lies between the residence of the deceased and the Church, and this too, though the whole breadth of the road-way was occupied with people. The Sodality of the Children of Mary of the Parish, wearing their ribbons and Crosses formed an imposing feature of the procession. They walked immediately behind the bier. After the dense body of mourners came a long line of carriages sent by people from the remoter districts of the Parish. The chief mourners were – Mrs. Wilkinson, Dublin, niece, Messrs. F.B. Giltinan and Patrick Sullivan, Cork (nephews-in-law); Mrs. Lynch (sister-in-law); Mrs. Murphy (niece). Many prominent business-men and local dignitaries, teachers, local government officials and hundreds upon hundreds of local people followed to the Church. The Church having been reached, the coffin was laid on a catafalque in front of the altar, and the Rosary and Litanies were recited, the responses being given by an immense congregation. Amidst touching manifestations of sincere and universal sorrow on the part of the parishioners, the remains of the Very Rev. Canon Lynch P.P. were on Saturday consigned to their last resting-place in the Parish Church grounds, Blarney. A priest beloved by his people, a pastor whose zeal in the service of God and whose solicitude for his flock were reflected in every action and purpose of his life, it was no wonder that his passing away should evoke feelings of deep regret amongst those to whom he was a guide and friend in the truest and best sense. Many expressive tributes have been paid to his memory, and many testimonials have been forthcoming as to the warmth of affection which his kindly and good nature inspired in those who owed him the allegiance of a flock to their spiritual shepherd. Another and no less impressive one was conveyed in the sad function of the solemn obsequies on Saturday. The spiritual head of the Diocese, his Lordship Most Rev. Dr. Browne, presided over the Solemn Office and Requiem High Mass, and deceased’s brethren in the Sacred Ministry, not alone from the most distant parishes in the Diocese of Cloyne, but from the City and several parishes in the Diocese of Cork, participated in the mournful rites. The congregation filled the pretty church to the porches and entrances, and everywhere the prevailing sense of heartfelt grief was feelingly evidenced. At the graveside there were many tokens of the deepest emotion, and the remains of the beloved priest were laid to rest amidst the sighs and prayers of the people whose trust was his greatest possession and to who he ministered with a devotion which knew no limits but those of his own charity and benevolence. The Solemn Office and High Mass were sung at 11 o’clock after which a procession was formed headed by the cross-bearer, the Rev. F.C. Kent C.C. and acolytes, and followed by the clergy bearing lighted tapers. His Lordship, the Bishop, preceded the coffin, which was borne on the shoulders of a number of parishioners. Having made a circuit of the Church, the procession proceeded to the graveside and here the concluding prayers were given, and the final absolution imparted. The internment then took place. At the Solemn Requiem Mass, his Lordship, the Most Rev. Dr. Browne presided and well over 60 clergy of all ranks were present as were huge numbers local people. Wreaths were sent by many business and local people as well as the Blarney branch of the United Irish League. As a mark of most respectful sympathy, the Mills of Messrs. Martin Mahony Bros., were shut down during the day. The funeral arrangements were most satisfactorily carried out by Messrs. T. Desmond & Sons, Pembroke Street and Conway’s Yard Cork under personal supervision.