KILKENNY - Extraordinary priest from Muckalee believed celibacy should be optional for clerics

Fr Martin was president of St Martin's GAA Club at time of his death

Sean Keane

Reporter:

Sean Keane

Email:

sean.keane@kilkennypeople.ie

Muckalee and Kilkenny loses a great man

The late Fr Martin Ryan, Muckalee, Kilkenny and formerly of the Philippines

A pioneering Kilkenny priest who served in The Philippines for over 50 years has passed away.

Although he left his home parish of Muckalee in Kilkenny over 70 years ago, Fr Martin Ryan followed the fortunes of St Martin's hurling and football club with great passion. He was president of the club at the time of his death.

The 89-year-old wrote a memoir in 2009 entitled, From Muckalee to Mindanao and back, a Missionary Journey and was a tireless campaigner for human rights and believed that celibacy should be optional for priests.

While in the Philippines, he set up substance abuse centres to help people with drinking problems,  something which is very close to his heart.