The passing of an era for the Dominicans with the loss of their beloved Brother Michael

By Mary Dennehy

IT WAS the end of an era for the Dominicans in Tallaght when Brother Micheal Neenan passed away suddenly last week, after two decades of caring for the community.

Originally from County Kerry, Br Neenan (74) was a merchant seaman for most of his life – with his worldwide travels not taking him to St Mary’s Priory in Tallaght until the mid-nineties when he joined the Dominicans at the age of 54.



This was an unusual step for a man in his fifties to take, but according to St Mary’s Prior Donal Roche, Br Neenan was always religious and as a young man had joined the Franciscan order – which he later left to head off on the high seas.

Prior Donal Roche said: “Br Neenan was a great person, he was very outgoing and sociable and was a great talker – he had wonderful stories of all the places he visited.

“There was very few places he hadn’t visited and always said that Sydney harbour was his favourite.

“He brought great life experience to his work here in Tallaght and while at St Mary’s he was sacristan for a while and also our infirmarian – basically our term for a carer in the community.

"Br Neenan spent a lot of time visiting older people and those who were ill, delivering meals and bringing people to hospital appointments.

“He also led a lot of pilgrimages and was well known for leading trips to Fatima and Knock.” 
Over the past year, Br Neenan’s health had started to deteriorate but his sudden passing last Thursday, February 25, was unexpected.

“Br Neenan’s presence will be greatly missed,” Fr Roche said.

“He was a very caring person who loved people and animals and was the first to notice if somebody was missing from Mass or hadn’t been seen for a while.

“It really is the end of an era for us here at St Mary’s, Br Neenan was one of the last traditional brothers that solely worked within the community, for the community.”

Br Neenan was laid to rest in St Mary’s community cemetery after a funeral Mass last Tuesday, March 1.



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