(Priestly sons of Upper Creggan)

Parish Archives show that some thirty sons of Upper Creggan have answered the call to priesthood at home or abroad since the parish was born in 1795.  Three of them are at present PPs in our own diocese: Fr Tom Daly of Carnally, PP Togher; Fr Martin McArdle of Crossmaglen, PP Moneymore and Fr Michael Murtagh PP Dunleer.  Previously Fr Eugene Donaghy (R.I.P.) was PP, Kilmore (Fr McKeever’s home parish) showing that “the wheel turns full circle.”

Most surprising of all is that three native priests came from the one family!!! the Lenaghan family of Clarnagh and each became a priest after emigration to America … Peter, ordained 1865; nephew Patrick, ordained 1894 and grandnephew John, ordained 1928.  These three sons of this parish left the same family home, still in the Lenaghan family today and served God’s people in the developing American Church. They are buried together in a Maryland parish cemetery where two of them served as parish priest until their deaths.

On a visit to America in 2011 Fr McKeever PP visited the Lenaghan graves just outside Baltimore, Maryland.

 The Fathers Lenaghan of Clarnagh; l-r; Peter, Patrick & John.

 Others ordained from this parish included (alphabetically) Patrick Brady, Courtbane ; John Campbell, Tullydonnell; John Caraher, Creenkill; Michael Devlin, Glassdrummonaghy; Anthony Devitt, Glassdrummond; Patrick Duffy, Teer; John Grant, Carnally; Peter Hamill; Eugene Hanratty, North St; Michael Keegan, Culloville; Patrick Lamb, Mounthill; John Lavelle, Ballinaclosha; Henry Lennon, Clonalig; Eugene Luckie, Drummuckavall; Patrick Luckie; Pat Morgan, Crossmaglen; Hugh Mulligan; brothers Owen McArdle and Kevin McArdle, Crossmaglen; Owen Quinn; Anthony Quinn and James Smyth.

It is also noteworthy that in the same period a list too numerous to name (well exceeding fifty) young women of this parish answered God’s call to sisterhood in various orders of nuns.  All but a few of these sisters have long gone to their reward… Some thankfully are still on mission and visit home occasionally.

Today God still calls and the harvest is still great though its labourers too few.  Is God be calling you?

               Fr Tom Daly                                             Fr Martin McArdle                                         Fr Michael Murtagh 

      (Ordination photograph)

               now  PP Togher                                  now  PP Moneymore                    now  PP Duleer


It is over thirty years (30!!) since the youngest of the above three priests left his Upper Creggan home to study for the priesthood.  (Fr Michael Murtagh, ordained 1986... silver jubilee 2011) … The time is long past for more sons of this parish to offer their lives for priesthood in our own diocese.  It is often said that God still calls… our prayer is that the youth of our parish will listen to His Divine Call.