News from times past with Brian Gabriel

Canon David Parker P.P. Blarney 1871 – 1894 By Brian Gabriel

Death notice printed in Cork Examiner of Monday June 11th 1894 PARKER – June 10, at the Presbytery, Blarney, the Very Rev. David Canon Parker, P.P. aged 76. Office and Requiem Mass at 11 o’clock, on Tuesday morning, 12th instant, at Waterloo Church – R.I.P. Death of Rev. Canon Parker, P.P. Blarney. Cork Examiner Very deep regret will be felt at the announcement which we make today of the death of the Rev. Canon Parker P.P. Blarney. The news will be received with surprise, as until the last few days the deceased clergyman was in the enjoyment of perfect health. His death was entirely unexpected and the shock to his friends will be all the greater when it is known that as late as Wednesday last he was well and strong enough to celebrate Mass. His last public duty was to attend a conference of the Deanery at Coachford just a week ago today. After celebrating Mass on Wednesday, he complained of a severe headache accompanied by a dimness of vision; but it was not until Friday that any serious importance was attached to it. Then it was found necessary to invoke medical aid and Dr. Nunan, Blarney, and Dr. Cremin, of Cork, were called in. Both were most assiduous in their attentions but not-withstanding their care their Rev. patient was attacked by apoplexy at four o’clock on Saturday afternoon and gradually sinking peacefully, passed away eleven o’clock yesterday. The Last Sacraments were administered by Rev. Father O’Callaghan C.C. Blarney. Canon Parker was seventy-six years of age, the last forty-eight of which he had spent in the ministry. He was a native of Midleton and received his classical education at Turpin’s Schools in that town. He subsequently went to Fermoy and then to the Irish College in Paris in 1841. Returning in 1846 he was ordained in Queenstown by the Most Rev. Dr. Crotty, Bishop of Cloyne. His first mission was Skibbereen where he laboured during the dreadful years of the famine sharing the sufferings of his people. He was struck down with fever twice. After his recovery in 1850, his duties lay in Kilbrin, near Kanturk. A couple of years later he was transferred to Newmarket for four years. Then to Beeing near Ahadillane for nine months, followed by Mallow for a further two years before being transferred to Queenstown until 1868 when he was sent as Administrator to Fermoy until 1871. On the 1st February he was appointed parish priest of Blarney. For twenty-three years he ministered in this parish discharging his duties with such zeal and piety as to earn for him the respect of all creeds and classes. His career in Blarney was marked by the execution of many useful works, including the schools at Rathpeacon, the parochial house and the curate’s residence. He was extremely charitable and conspicuous in his attention to the sick and in spite his advancing years was ready at all hours of the day and night to answer the call of duty. A touching reference was made to his death by Rev. Fr. O’Callaghan in the Parish Church yesterday and many of the congregation were moved to tears. Canon Parkers body will be removed to the chapel at Waterloo at nine o’clock to-morrow (Tuesday) morning and the Office and Requiem Mass will be celebrated two hours later, after which the remains will be interred within the precincts of the church. Funeral report in Cork Examiner Wednesday June 13th 1894 Obsequies of the Very Rev. Canon Parker, P.P. Blarney. The obsequies of the Very Rev. David Canon Parker, P.P. Blarney, took place yesterday at Waterloo Church and were largely attended by the clergymen of the Diocese of Cloyne, and also of Cork, with whom the deceased gentleman was very popular, as well as by the great numbers of the people of the Parish, which he had the spiritual charge of for so many years. The mills in Blarney, belonging to Messrs. Martin Mahony Brothers, were closed during the entire day and this gave the employees of that large factory an opportunity of attending the funeral of their late respected pastor. A funeral procession was formed about half-past nine o’clock outside the residence of the deceased, which wended its way thence to Waterloo, passing through the north-eastern side of Blarney village. The procession was headed by the school children of Blarney and Waterloo to the number of 400, marshalled by the teachers, Mr. and Mrs. Cotter; Mr. and Mrs. O’Leary and their assistants; after which came the girls employed in Messrs. Mahony’s Factory, numbering about 400, and about 300 male employees of the same firm, marshalled by Messrs. C. Buckley, E. Cunningham, T. Higgins, D. Linehan, etc. The clergy came next, and were followed by the bier and coffin, the latter made of polished oak, beautifully mounted in brass. Then came the chief mourners: Mr. Robert Parker, PLG Midleton (brother of the deceased); Rev. J. Roche and Rev. H. Roche, John Parker (nephews); W. Roche, Clerk of Union, Midleton (brother-in-law). In the cortege also were – Mrs. Roche (sister of the deceased); Mrs. Parker (sister-in-law); and the misses Kate Lizzie, Nannie and Mollie Parker and Kate Roche (niece). Over 60 Clergymen attended as well as many notables and dignitaries of the business community. The Blarney Curate was Rev. M. O’Callaghan. Office for the Dead was sung at eleven o’clock and was followed by High Mass at half-past eleven o’clock. Very Rev. H.E. Canon Dennehy P.P. Kanturk, and Vicar Capitular of the Diocese, presided at the Mass, which was celebrated by the Rev. James Roche (nephew of the deceased), Professor of Philosophy, Carlow College, with the Rev. M. R. Rea. C.C. Fermoy, acting as Deacon; the Rev. D. O’Connor C.C. Whitechurch, Sub-deacon; and the Rev. E.B. O’Connell C.C. Macroom, Master of Ceremonies. After the Mass the burial took place in a grave at the Epistle side of the High Altar, and many the tear was dropped by the members of the faithful flock as the earth fell on the coffin. Many floral tributes were sent. The drapery of the Church as well as the general arrangements were efficiently carried out by Mr. Dominick O’Leary, Undertaker, Pope’s Quay. The Plaque in St. Mary’s Church, Waterloo reads: IHS Pray for the repose of the Soul of Very Rev David Canon Parker P.P. Who died June 10th 1894 In the 74th year of his age And 47th of his sacred ministry 23 of which he spent in this parish This Memorial Tablet Was erected by the parishioners As a mark of their esteem and affection. RIP

The Blarney and District Historical Society December lecture takes place on Thursday 6th December 2018 at 8pm in Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Blarney. Titled ‘Flora Sandes’ Nurse Assistant – Highly decorated Serbian Army Sgt.-Major in WW1 who had Whitechurch and Irish Connections. Guest Speaker Ms. Marie McCarthy discusses the adventure filled life and times of this amazing woman who regarding herself as Irish, was the only British woman, officially, to serve as a soldier in WWI. Charge for non-members €4.

A limited number of ‘Old Blarney’ back issues are still available by contacting 087 2153216, bg1@eircom.net  or www.blarneyhistory.ie   or at the Monthly Lectures.

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