Popular Harborough priest who served the church for 55 years is to be buried in his Irish homeland

It was Fr Owen O’Neill’s wish to be laid to rest in his native Ireland

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 1:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 1:12 pm
Father Owen O’Neill.

A popular Market Harborough priest who has died after serving the church for an incredible 55 years is to be buried in his Irish homeland.

It was Fr Owen O’Neill’s wish to be laid to rest in his native Ireland.

And so after his Funeral Mass here is held at Our Lady of Victories church in Market Harborough on Monday April 26, his body will be taken to Cappawhite in Co Tipperary for a second Funeral Mass and burial on Saturday May 1.

“Sadly, due to Government Covid-19 restrictions it will not be possible for all those who would like to attend Fr Owen’s Funeral Mass here to be present. Government restrictions mean that a maximum of 30 people can be in attendance and it was Fr Owen’s express wish that we do observe these Government restrictions to the letter,” said the Roman Catholic Church.

Fr Owen’s “mortal remains” will be received into Our Lady of Victories Church – where he was the priest for 19 years – on Fairfield Road, Market Harborough, at 6pm on Sunday (April 25).

“Mass will be celebrated for the repose of Fr Owen’s soul led by Fr John Joe Maloney.

“Bishop Patrick will be the Principal Celebrant at Fr Owen’s Funeral Mass, which will take place at 11am on Monday,” said the church.

“Only those who have been specifically invited will be allowed to attend in person.

“However, both the Mass for the reception of Fr Owen’s mortal remains at 6pm on Sunday and Fr Owen’s Funeral Mass at 11am on Monday will be live streamed to enable family members, friends and parishioners unable to be present to join in saying their farewell to Fr Owen.

“Details of the link for the live streaming will be published as soon as they have been finalised.”

Tributes were paid to Fr O’Neill after he passed away peacefully on Saturday April 10 – just seven months after he retired – at the age of 80.

Representing Christians across the district, Churches Together in Harborough said: “Church members in the Harborough area are mourning the death of Father O'Neill.

“Fr Owen had been priest at Our Lady of Victories Roman Catholic Church in the town for 19 years until his retirement last September.

“He had been a priest for 55 years - and had spent his final days at Peaker Park residential home in the town.

“The current priest at Our Lady of Victories, Fr Christopher O'Connor, was able to give him Holy Communion on Easter Sunday.”