- IE IJA J/88
- 11 January 1939-24 January 1976
Born: 11 January 1939, Avondale, Corbally, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 January 1976, Milltown Park, Dublin
by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 51st Year No 2 1976
Fr Billy Carroll (at school here 1946-257): After a short period in St. John's hospital, Limerick, Billy died in Dublin on 24th January. As a past pupil and member of the Society, he was much loved and respected by his schoolmates and all his friends in Limerick. The concelebrated Mass (29th January) was attended by a great number of past pupils, relatives and friends.
Fr Billy Carroll (1939-1976)
It is difficult to get used to the idea that Billy Carroll, who would have been thirty-seven in June this year, is no longer with us. I spent about thirteen years with Billy in Emo, Rathfarnham, Chantilly, Clongowes and Milltown. He was always quiet, with a wry sense of humour, always able to pick out and imitate the various accents and idiosyncrasies of sports commentator, superior or lecturer. An excellent athlete from his schooldays, he arrived late in Emo because he was playing rugby for Munster in the summer of '57. He was on the Irish school boys international athletic team, and as a novice, junior, philosopher or theologian he seemed at his happiest on the football field.
Billy was never an academic. He found the years of training tough, but quietly and uncomplainingly steered his way through the various intellectual forests. He was at his happiest with youngsters, and the number of them at his funeral witnesses to the fact that they were impressed with his instinctive goodness, ready wit and genuine concern.
Billy did his philosophy in France where if, like the rest of us, he did not learn too much philosophy, he certainly learnt French and was a very popular figure in that large community of Chantilly. His soccer abilities were invaluable to the Chantilly team and his wit enlivened many a gloomy hour in exile. His ability to imitate was used on occasion to brighten up philosophy lectures and when, at the end of a course, it was the custom to do a “take off” of a particular professor, Billy would use his talent to the delight of professor and students alike.
On returning to Ireland, Billy was sent to Clongowes as Third Line prefect. Here he showed great rapport with the boys, but a mysterious Providence had him moved to Limerick the following year. He was happy to be back in his home town.
He ploughed his way through theology with difficulty and was ordained in 1971. The next year found him back in Limerick, and it was here that his illnesses began. His most bitter disappointment was when he was moved from the Crescent to the Milltown Retreat House and he found it difficult to settle into his new job, particularly as his health was poor. But he gave himself to his job with dedication.
It was always difficult to read Billy’s heart, for he seldom spoke of his inner self, but his quiet ways and gentle smile will always be a happy reminder of how good it was to have him around and to have known and worked and played with him. I hear that on the day he died he enjoyed watching the Australia/ Ireland rugby match. It fits. We look forward to joining him in times to come.
◆ The Clongownian, 1976
Father Billy Carroll SJ
Those who were in the Third Line in 1965-66 were suddened to hear that their prefect of that year, Mr Billy Carroll, died in January at the early age of thirty-six, just five years after ordination. Although he had never enjoyed robust health, Billy's death came as a shock to his many friends, who will not easily forget his unusual goodness and his quiet, gentle ways.