Huge crowds join Father Joe on his final journey

Funeral takes place of Father Joe O'Donnell

Huge crowds join Father Joe on his final journey

Thousands of people have paid their respects or attended the wake and three Masses celebrated in Ballintra and Letterkenny for the late Fr Joseph (Joe) O'Donnell who died last weekend.
Hundreds attended a Mass on Monday last as his remains arrived in St Brigid's Church, Ballintra, a day later a second Mass saw a church to overflowing as chief clebrant Fr O Fearraí, PP Kilbarron, assisted by seven priests, told the congregation how many, many stories they had heard about Fr Joe's popularity.
“He loved children, but he was popular with people of all ages,” Fr O Fearraí said.
Locals were very much involved in the celebration of his life and guards of honour outside the church saw students and staff from local schools stand side by side with members of the local Naomh Brid GAA club.
In St Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Bishop Alan McGuckian, was the principal celebrant, joined by priests from all over the county and country.
He told mourners: “He was first and last a priest, a pastor and stories of his kindness and wise counsel are endless. I don’t need to repeat them here. They are in the hearts of so many people here in the cathedral today.
“Joe grew to have the heart of a good shepherd.
“People in trouble and people at moments of pain and loss, knew it.
“The children knew it, especially. Niamh knew it - his niece whom he loved as the apple of his eye.
“I think there is a girl here from Ballintra with her friends who left her birthday party to go and serve an evening Mass because they wouldn’t see Father Joe stuck.”
Bishop Alan reflected on Fr Joe's many interests - “Joe could relax and enjoy life, he loved music, Queen, Tom Petty and followed Leeds United through thick and thin.”
Following Requiem Mass Fr Joseph was laid to rest in Conwal Cemtery, again large numbers attended.
May he rest in peace.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.