Father Griffin's Remains Taken to Loughrea — Impressive Church Scenes — All Classes Horrified at the Awful Crime

Galway Observer, 27th November, 1920


Mourning was general in Galway on Tuesday, when the remains of Father Griffin, who, after being a week missing, was found murdered and buried in a bog adjoining the city, were removed for interment in Loughrea Cathedral grounds. Father Griffin is the first priest to be murdered in Ireland since the days of Cromwell. High Mass at St. Joseph's Church, Galway, was attended by the Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishops of Galway and Clonfert, over one hundred clergymen and a very large congregation. Messages of sympathy have poured into Fr. Griffin's clerical colleagues and to members of his bereaved family from all parts of the world. Protestant ministers and leading members of other creeds joined in the general expression of horror at a crime that has shocked all Christian people. The remains of Rev Michael Griffin, C.C., the first priest to be murdered in Ireland since the days of Cromwell, were removed to Loughrea for internment on Tuesday after Requiem Mass at the Church of St. Joseph, Galway. The Archbishop of Tuam, the Bishops of Galway and Clonfert, as well as clergymen from the neighbouring dioceses and an enormous congregation were present. Long queues trailed slowly past the coffin as it lay at the head of the aisle, covered in a pall of black, on which reposed the stole and biretts. Women and children wept as the vast cortege, headed by 150 surpliced clergymen wound its way from the church through the streets, in which every shop was shuttered and every private house expressed its mute mourning by drawn blinds.

Vast Cortege

In the vast crowd that awaited the funeral every section was represented, including the Protestant Rector, his curates and practically every single member of his congregation, Presbyterians, Methodists, leading landowners, officials and the humblest citizen. A group of R.I.C. men at the corner of Dominick street raised their hats as the cortege passed. The priests walked to Moneenageisha Cross—roads, where the road branches off to Loughrea. Here the coffin was transferred from the hearse to a waiting motor car. As the coffin moved away, the Bishop stood up in his car, with uncovered head, and remained in this attitude until it had passed out of sight. Father O'Meehan, Father O'Loughlin, Gurteen, and Father T. Fahy accompanied the remains to Loughrea. The coffin was followed by motor car carrying wreaths. There was a stoppage of work all day Tuesday and every shop was closed. Many people added to the vast crowds came from the surrounding villages, Barna, Spiddal, Moycullen, and Oranmore districts.

Chief Mourners

The chief mourners were Mrs Griffin, Gurteen (mother) ; Miss Annie and Miss Cissie Griffin (sisters), Morgan Griffin and Patrick Griffin (brothers) ; James Coyne, Gurteen, Joseph Coyne, Clonbur (uncles) ; Mrs Mahon and Mrs Forde, Ballymacward (aunts) ; Patrick Coyne, Michael Coyne, Honor Coyne, Gurteen ; Mrs Lohan, Menlough (cousins).

The celebrant of the Mass was Very Rev Canon Sexton, R.A., B.D. St. Mary's College : deacon, Rev T. W. Cunnane, B.A. C.C., Moycullen ; sub—deacon, Rev Nicholas Donnelly, B.A., C.C. College House. The chanters were Rev J. Moran, C.C. College House, and Rev P. Lydon, P.P., Shrule. Over 100 priests were present in the choir from the archdiocese of Tuam, the united dioceses of Galway, Kilmacdugh and Kilfenora, and the dioceses of Clonfert. These included Right Rev Mgr. McAlpine, P.P. V.G. Clifden ; Right Rev Mgr. Considine, Adm., V.G., and members of all the religious houses.

Remains of Father Griffin Interred at Loughrea

Most Rev Dr O'Doherty, Bishop of Clonfert, celebrated High Mass at the Cathedral, Loughrea, on Wednesday, for the late Rev Michael Griffin, B.A., C.C., who remains lay before the high alter since the previous evening. The day was observed as one of general mourning in the town. The Bishop was assisted by Rev Father Vincent, O.D.C., and Rev J. Cogavin, B.A. The congregation was representative of Galway city and county, Clare and other places. The remains were later interred in the Cathedral grounds, the final Absolution being pronounced by the Bishop.