Brendan, Richard and everybody,
On this particular day it is a privilege to have the opportunity to convey on behalf of The Swanlinbar Kildallon Group a message of thanks to Rev Brendan for his time here. Although I know there are many people from the Group better qualified than myself to perform this task, I’m sure they have their own memories to express.
I find it easier to express my memories in the words of a poem rather than a speech.
Hopefully it will be neither inadequate or disrespectful as it is certainly not my intention.
The poem is as follows:-
From Fermanagh through Cavan and Leitrim
A little red car travelled round
Swanlinbar Templeport and Kinawley
At weekends it always was found
As well as Tomregan Kildallon
Newtowngore Corrawellan was bound
The red then turned to silver
A jeep on the highroads appeared
It’s driver was hard to distinguish
As it moved fastly round far and near
The driver soon became familiar
Rev Brendan of course was his name
Swanlinbar & Kildallon Group of parishes
His Christian message will always remain
He could have choose other occupations
A song writer or singer perhaps
Guitar playing or writing
A Kris Kristofferson or Johnny Cash
A film producer/director
Productions about the wise men
A rally driver or a comedian
A writer who’s good with the pen
But we all know the job he has chosen
The most important job of them all
From Ireland to London and India
Are just a few of his ports of call
As we say a farewell to Rev Brendan
And God bless and wish him the best
That little red car and the silver
From bumpy roads will be getting a rest
To speak of a man of Brendan’s calibre would take a lot longer than we have got time for today so I will endeavour to say as much as possible in as short a time as I can.
What can I say? A multi- talented man who in his short time here is not only part of our Group of parishes, he is also part of everyone of us. That is the reason why it is so difficult to come to terms with his departure. As Mohammed Ali once said when he lost his world title “I shall return” and I’m sure this will apply to Brendan as well. Maybe not on a regular basis but either to preach occasionally or entertain us with his musical family. So today we are not going to say a final farewell as we know he will be back.
In his short time here he has become a familiar figure with his special talents of engaging with the congregation young and old during services, captivating the interest and imagination of everyone present while delivering a strong Christian message with humour and in a way that’s easily understood.
There are many highlights of this time with us including organising a trip to the Indian orphanage where he has been on many occasions before helping to set it up initially.
Bringing the Omagh Waterford peace choir to Swanlinbar.
Bringing his own musical family to our Group on a number of occasions which I’m sure was a very special effort on their part.
Many more events in the Group as well.
There are many amusing stories to be told, everyone having their own memories and experiences of Brendan, which will live on in our thoughts and hearts.
Today we thank God for Rev Brendan’s time with us. We thank Brendan and his wife and family for the immense input engaging with our Group in a Christian family way.
We wish each and every one of them God’s richest blessing in the future.
Mackie Breen 18th August 2013