McDonagh, Peadar, 1922-1973, Jesuit priest

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McDonagh, Peadar, 1922-1973, Jesuit priest

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  • McDonagh, Peter

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11 November 1922-26 April 1973


Born: 11 November 1922, Galway City
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954
Professed: 15 August 1961
Died: 26 April 1973, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973

We have still another sudden death to record, that of Fr Peter MacDonagh. He was attending the Province Meeting at Rathfarnham on Thursday April 26th, but feeling indisposed he returned home shortly after lunch; he had difficulty ultimately in reaching his room and died about 4 o'clock. It was most unexpected.

Obituary :

Fr Peter McDonagh (1922-1973)

Fr Peter McDonagh came to the noviceship at Emo Park a day too soon!, but then all 14 companions did likewise because Sept. 7th, the official day of entrance, was a Sunday and train Services were restricted in the emergency conditions of the war. Thus Saturday, Sept. 6th was an uncounted day of initiation - presumably not much adverted to since the ensuing years were already accepted as a long haul. He was one of several representatives of Coláiste Iognáid, hailing from across the street and acquainted with church and school from childhood.
He was born Nov. 22nd, 1922 and was consequently 19 when he entered, having completed a year at University College, Galway immediately after leaving school. He settled down equably at Emo, earnest and conscientious, regular and companionable, a ready sense of humour and a gay laugh audible possibly on occasion after the challenger had sounded. He had an interest in nature study, trees and plants and birds - an advantage in the Emo environment. He was an adept with a cross-cut and enjoyed pike fishing on the lake when opportunity occurred during the Major Villa. It could be said of him then and later that his relaxations were in a demure unelaborate kind.
He pronounced his vows Sept. 9th 1943 and proceeded to Rathfarnham, resuming the Arts course he had interrupted at University College, Galway. 1945 Degree and Tullabeg for Philosophy; 1948, two years at the Crescent and a final year at Coláiste lognáid; he was an energetic industrious teacher inspiring interest in his subjects, organising and engaging in debates and other extra curricular activities which brought him into closer contact with the boys among whom he had a way.
1951 found him at Milltown Park amid the lean years of Genicot and Dogma (at which he acquitted himself cum laude). He took his part in Holy Week Ceremonies and the Christmas plays, presenting himself in anything but the role of “odd man out”.
1954 ordination; 1955 Tertianship at Rathfarnham. His life as a priest differed little, apart from his priestly duties, from what had been the tenor of his life previously. In 1956 he returned to the school-room - a year a Gonzaga and the succeeding years to Belvedere where he remained until his untimely death.
In his latter years at Belvedere he suffered increasingly from a form of asthma which necessitated his being provided habitually with an “inhaler”. He appears on occasion to have been heedless in applying this remedy and possibly as a result he was afflicted with a kind of nervous tension which compelled him to seek hospital treatment on occasion to obviate the distress. A certain
reticence and reserve grew upon him and his energies were not sufficiently resilient to cope with the exuberance of the class room. A change of occupation was advisable and in 1971 while remaining domiciled at Belvedere he was transferred to the Social Service Centre at Gardiner St, where to all evidence he gained a new lease of life. He was devoted to the work which fortunately provided him with a wide variety of interests in assisting and relieving the poor. Meals on wheels, flat hunting, landlords to be bearded, Senior Citizens to be catered for and entertained, all was grist. His depression lifted, the buoyancy returned. He attended the Province Meeting at Rathfarnham, April 26th. The present writer sat opposite him at dinner and we laughed and joked. He was in the best of form. Then it was “Grace” and I helped him as he gave a hand at drying. It was like Emo again, a day too soon ... and now in a sense history was to repeat itself for the Lord was good to call him to Himself - at 50 and with so much to do a day too soon.
His death which occurred as he betook himself to his room in Belvedere that same afternoon was tragically sudden. A post mortem assigned its cause to a cardiac attack during an asmathic spasm. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.


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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-


McDonagh, Peadar, 1922-1973, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/803

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