Msgr John Delaney honoured with a Mayo Diaspora award

Posted in Connect on August 22, 2017.


IT was an evening to cherish for Msgr John Delaney when he was honoured in Claremorris recently with a Mayo Cherishing the Irish Diaspora Award. Tommy Joe Duffy of the Mayo based group presided at the presentation in the Dalton Inn Hotel.
Msgr John, a native of Farmhill, Crossboyne, Claremorris, celebrated his golden jubilee in the priesthood in 2014. All of his life in the ministry has been in Florida, the vast bulk in Fort Lauderdale, as well as a period of 15 years in Miami and a three year term in Palm Beach.
At the informal ceremony in Claremorris, he recalled how he was assigned to Florida from All Hallows College in Dublin and had no knowledge whatsoever about Florida at the time.
He reminisced how The Beatles came to Miami Beach around the time he arrived in Florida back in 1964 after having made a major impression on the famous Ed Sullivan Show of that era.
The young Fr Delaney became good friends with the Kennedy family of Boston in the late 1960s and a close confidante of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother of President John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, both of who were assassinated in the turbulent 1960s in America. Rose died back in 1995.

‘Immensely proud’
Kevin Bourke of the Mayo Diaspora group said Msgr John has always been immensely proud of his Mayo roots and had helped many people during his five decades in the ministry. He spoke of Msgr John’s abiding love for Mayo and how he is always so proud to wear his distinguished red and green outfit when Mayo are playing in the major games.
“So many great people have left our shores and served in parishes on all the continents over the decades. They have rendered immense service and have been central to the regard in which Ireland is held in the hearts of so many people down through the years. You are part of that great tradition, Msgr John, and we are privileged to honour you with this award tonight,” said Kevin.
The chairman of Mayo County Council, Richard Finn, joined in the good wishes to Msgr John and said he was delighted to be present for the special occasion. “The family have made a major contribution to the community life of Crossboyne and Claremorris over the years. You have always been a great ambassador for Mayo and I salute the Mayo Diaspora group on choosing you for this award,” said Cllr Finn.
Tommy Joe Duffy, a native of Killawalla, who spent many years over in Manchester, and Marianne Staunton from Westport, both members of the Mayo Diaspora group, joined in the good wishes.
Msgr John, who returns to Florida on Thursday, expressed his deep gratitude to ‘this fine group of people’ who honoured him with a Person of the Year accolade.
Last Thursday, Msgr John returned to Florida and the staunch Mayo supporter had everything in place to sit back and watch the match in the comfort of his home on Sunday. “I had the room nicely decked out in the Mayo colours with green and red candles adding to the atmosphere.  The Mayo hat I bought from Paddy Smyth in Claremorris several years ago was there too. I must say I don’t like the jerseys they wore on Sunday and always prefer to see them in our traditional colours. But what a game!  Like so many others I am immensely proud of this team and I wish them all the best for the replay on Saturday,” said Msgr John yesterday (Monday).

Michael Commins – Mayo News 21st August 2017

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