Tuesday, 26 April 2016

FATHER JOHN MURRAY SPOTTED IN TENERIFE.

FATHER JOHN MURRAY SPOTTED IN TENERIFE.

Fr John Murray PP - Rasharkin
FATHER JOHN MURRAY the parish priest of Rasharkin in County Antrim was spotted in Tererife Airport in the past few days by a parishioner of Ballymena parish.

The Ballymena man who contacted the Blog said he saw Father Murray dressed in non clerical dress arrive at Tenerife. He was not alone.

The Parish of Rasharkin has been awash with rumour since Thursday of Holy Week when an alleged showdown took place between Fr Murray and Bishop Noel Treanor.

Bishop Treanor


Within hours of the showdown Father Murray left the parochial house and went to a confidential County Down location. 

The temporary curate of Ballymena - Father Darren Brennan was despatched by Bishop Treanor to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper in Rasharkin on Holy Thursday evening.

Fr Brennan and Friend


Within the past few days he departed County Down and went straight to Belfast Airport for a flight to Tenerife where he is reputed to be staying with his travelling companion in the comfortable apartment of a close friend.

Meanwhile a well placed and senior cleric in Down and Connor has told this Blog that Father Murray may never return to Rasharkin. He said: 

"Normally priests retire at the clerical changes after they have reached their 75th birthday. John Murray will be 75 in May. In my opinion he will not return to Rasharkin and if he does it will be for a very short time and to pack up his belongings".

Among the Down and Connor clergy there are a number of rumours circulating as to the cause of the Murray / Treanor showdown. There was no sign of it coming and less than a year ago Bishop Treanor had welcomed Father Murray to his Palace on the Somerton Road for a 50th ordination anniversary pic. 


Back Row: Bishop Treanor 3rd from left - Father Murray 1st from right
Both the clergy and the parishioners of Rasharkin are wondering what it is that has caused this sudden and serious deterioration in relations between Bishop Treanor and Father Murray.

A D&C priest said last night: "If you are going to be in Bishop Treanor's "Sin Bin" its better to be in it in Spain rather than in Rasharkin".

I have emailed the Down and Connor Press Officer - Father Eddie Magee - for a statement from the diocese on the Father Murray situation. I will publish his reply here if I get one.


Eddie Magee

I would also invite Father Murray himself or any of his friends to tell us their perspective on this story. In fairness ALL SIDES deserve to have their perspective represented.

36 comments:

  1. Was the companion male or female? It is rumoured that Fr Murray's housekeeper, Pat, female, accompanied him to the confidential Co Down location.

    Rent-a-Priest, Rasharkin

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    1. Are you - Rent a Priest - a priest?

      Sean. Rasharkin.

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  2. Fr Murray always holidayed a few times a year in Tenerife. I would not read too much into it. The warm climate agrees with most folk and I'm sure will aid his recuperation.

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    1. Will the warm climate also help his problem with Bishop Treanor?

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  3. All I can say is that there are friends of mine who are parishioners of Rasharkin, and they told me over the last few days that there are a lot of rumours floating around that parish, some of which are quite unsavory!
    In the absence of some clarity from the Diocese what else can one expect ?

    Priest of D&C.

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  4. It seems the Catholic Church has learned nothing,absolutely nothing from its previous brushes with the media in Ireland. As time goes on the whole business of news management and control will become increasingly difficult with the continual evolution of social media platforms. Yet the church seems to think silence is golden.
    A vacuum will never remain such for long and will soon be filled-often with conjecture and speculation.
    That can often mean that the reputations of wholly innocent parties can be irreparably damaged as the result of rumour and untruths.
    A statement of basic facts or even a holding statement should have been issued to the parishoners in this case. Bishop Treanor seems to forget that the parish does not belong to him but the people. His inept performance here is a further manifestation of the view that the church is on a downward spiral in Ireland.
    A look inside on a Sunday at mass time is proof positive of that.
    The Spin Doctor

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    1. Spot on, as ever.
      But, Mother of God, the poor man must have been ordained at the age of 24, and so must have gone straight from school to seminary, even if he didn’t go to junior seminary.
      I'm not hearing the sense of distaste for him I do for others on here and so I wish the man best wishes for his retirement and some down time.

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    2. If you knew Johnny Murray well you would never worry about him neglecting his DOWN TIME :-)

      Now, UP TIME, that might be a different matter.

      PP D&C

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    3. Reminds me of a bishop down the country who was sick listening to a very lazy PP going on and on about retirement. Eventually, the bishop said: "And tell me this, Father - how will you know you have retired?" :-)

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  5. Yes. I've don't the sum myself and I agree with you. 50 years in one job is a long time. And even if he has blotted his copybook ( and in the absence of any statement to the contrary we only have the rumours) the events surrounding his departure in such an abrupt and summary fashion speaks volumes about the caring, compassionate side of the church.
    Take heed any aspiring seminarians.
    Ballymena Barney

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    1. Where did you see this hoard of aspiring seminarians ????

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    2. In a sauna in Rome

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  6. As a retired journalist I must agree with the Spin Doctor. Down and Connor have lived up to their long standing reputation for complete balls ups in public relations.
    Perhaps Treanor is still smarting from getting his episcopal bottom well and truly spanked over the Ian Eliott business. Poor chap!

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  7. Stop!! I can't breathe for laughing.

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  8. Its If Mr & Mrs? Priest had to escape under cover of darkness if such be the case. I disappeared to Enniskillen...in the day.. Sad if the Irish Church has learned nothing since. Silly me to think it might

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  9. mr & mrs priest lmao i have said that all along, they do everything together apart from golfing lol surely if he has escaped to be looked after by family there was no need for the mrs to go too just saying like

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  10. Your friend from Ballymena would need to go to specsavers as i was talking to Pat when she was meant to be on holiday.Perhaps she can bi locate. I have known Fr Johnny murray for many years, he is a decent man, he was Chaplin to St Pats in Ballymena when i was there, he helped me more than he will ever know. I know he has helped many people. He has had rough periods in his life through illness. I have had the privledge of working with him in Rasharkin over the past few years. He has done a lot in a short time in Rasharkin, built a parish hall and built an extension unto the church for Adoration, not bad for a 74 year old. Think he deserves a break. He has the respect of most people in the parish and in other places. as they say you can't please some people. It has really nothing to do with us where he is. As long as he is ok

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    1. Hi Percy, Father Murray was very good to me and my family through extremely tough times. Would you happen to have a contact or address for him? I could email you?

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  11. As in agreement with the comment above, Fr Murray is well respected by the majority of the parishioners in Rasharkin. He was equally as highly thought of, and sorely missed by those in Antrim from where he transferred! I am in no position to comment on behalf of hundreds of people but perhaps a lot of those listening to and enhancing speculation, should instead remember are Murray in their prayers. If he is on holiday - good for him! Some nice weather and relaxation will help aid what will hopefully be a speedy recovery. If there was a disagreement with the Bishop, then perhaps Noel Trainor should look at the bigger picture - to see and be grateful for everything Fr John Murray has done for OUR parish!

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  12. the only thing John Murray has done for our parish is get it into severe debt yes he built the hall but that was initiated by the late Father Murphy. As for the adoration chapel it is not used for the purpose it was built for and is used very little a complete waste of parish money. There are many people in our parish who equally had a problem with John Murrays attitude and his my way or no way stance.

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    1. Shame on you. This man has devoted his life to the church and this is the gratitude he receives. You are of the problems with 'our' parish. #dinosaur

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    2. dinosaur??? please. he curses, he turns his back on his own parishoners in favour of outsiders!!!! You may well be a murray supporter and are quite entitled to your opinion for which i am respectful as i too am entitled to mine and speak from personal experience. Father Murray has turned many parishoners in need from his door but opens it wide for outsiders hell bent on making the lives of the catholic community in Rasharkin a misery and yes this is speaking from experience too. The numbers or lack of them at the masses and the numbers seeking to worship elsewhere reflect this. So call me what you may from behind your rose tinted glasses but I am like you entitled to my opinion

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  13. This story is now getting ridiculous.

    I really don’t have any strong feelings either way regarding Rev. Fr. Murray so I suppose you could call me a parishioner with fair views. Firstly as far as seeing Fr. Murray at the airport with a woman, so stupid even to mention this, the lady could be anyone, and really - who cares? All I can say, in regard to the Parish housekeeper we see at Mass, she is a lovely pleasant and friendly lady, and given the fact housekeepers share accommodation in most cases with clergy, the peeping Tom at the airport, really should broaden their mind span.
    I really think that this ongoing saga against Fr. Murray is unfair; however 90% of the negativity said is true, the white elephant of the Parish centre he erected, putting the Parish in debt for the first time in decades, is so true not forgetting his, let’s face it arrogant manner and daily counselling us of the Syrian population and love of the slaughtered word. I am sure Fr. was fantastic years ago, especially in Ballymena, however I feel the years have not be good to him or his personality, and given that Kilrea Masses are full of Rasharkin parishioners, the lack of foot fall has to count. The weekly collection has dropped from around approx £2 k per week, whilst in beautiful Fr. Murphy’s (RIP) duration at Saint Marys, to at most £1300 a weekly now. Finally, Blessings to Fr. Murray for his future. In light of our great Parish, I ask Dr Trainor, can we please have a replacement PP soon, we are an example Parish, so please see in your mercy to care for the congregation, and there are still enough priests in the diocese to choice from.

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    1. Very well said I commend your intelligence and its people like you who will keep the catholic faith alive. God Bless you

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  14. Can we forget about all the bullshit and jus get us a priest for the parish,we had two parishioners died in the last week and we couldn't get a priest to give them the last rites,l think fr Murray owes it to his congregation to give them an exclamation why he jumped ship.

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  15. if the people of st marys would stay on this side of the bann and pay into their own parish and spend 1 hour a week hearing mass as it should be said and not want out early from a 20 minute mass in kilrea they might think they belong in rasharkin

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  16. Ah bless you Sam the man from Ballymena:

    If our faith only consists of spending an hour a week and paying into a parish, wouldn’t life be simplistic, unfortunately the departure of loyal Saint Marys Parishioners is not down to a quickie 20 mins at St. Anne’s Kilrea. If we parishioners hear the same old droll week in week out, listening to a one sided opinion which isn’t allowed to be quested in an overheated chapel, Thankfully, in the 21st Century, Catholics are allowed a voice, and allowed to use our own minds, and make our own decisions where and when we worship. The saddest thing of all, after a legacy of Great Priests, that I remember in my 60 yrs in the parish, it is disgraceful that the Parishioners are blanked out of what is going on in our self funded parish. Might I give an instand solution to all this nonsense, Give us a Priest and give us one soon. Worship will then resume on the Brea, and not another word will be said !
    Over to your Dr Trainor, get your finger out and do what you are elected for:

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  17. With repect to everyone, this blog is bringing us all down. Lets just say we have a vacancy that needs filling urgently – I drive to Rasharkin weekly for Mass, my old Parish, my real home. I get so much happiness, especially on Saturday nights when the beautiful Youth Choir, at the baton of Mrs Mc Guigan sing and play – That Music brings me so close to heaven, not to mention tears. Please can we stop this snipping, Rasharkin is a great Parish, with loyal Parishioners, Please Lord and our Holy Mother, please give Rasharkin a PP soon, lets face it, they have earned it and need it.
    Unfortunately, there is no music of the Choir on the web, but I love this Hymn when they sing it, y even better than this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZv3jzOTE70&list=RDUZv3jzOTE70#t=29
    Mary Mc C.

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  18. Fr Murray did not bring the mass numbers down I stopped long ago going to Rasharkin Masses when 2 previous priests drove a lot like myself away, I walked away instead of trying to change or help the situation but being right did not mean I did the right thing,
    we have had some wonderful priests here and no doubt will have more in the future,
    Fr Murray was human and a good human being in my eyes, sure his preaching might not have suit all but perhaps we who think we know best should have a good look at ourselves, yep you me and the people with power,
    A wise old saying states "The nearer the alter rails, the farther from God", the implication might be a warning about placing too much importance on material buildings and their Ego not their souls,
    Reminder that God is everywhere and some day we will have to answer for our outbursts, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, comes to mind,
    So stop this stupid media hype and being negative and do something positive, not only for yourselves but all Rasharkins church and non church goers.
    Get your finger out in other words and stop using it on your laptop for this nonsense

    Lapsed Catholic

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  19. Dear Lapsed Catholic, you sure have a lot to say about a subject that, let’s face it, has nothing in this world to do with you, rather than annoy parishioners who are active members of the Saint Marys Parish with your views, Please get on your judgemental bike and go back to where you belong (Lapsed La La Land)

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  20. Ok Folks talk has to finish, action needs to take place
    I believe all we want is a decent Priest to lead a good Parish
    I so want the last rites, poor Patsy who gave so much to everyone to our Parish, our Choir and Clergy, The computer says no, Does work in Sharkin Bishop NOEL.

    Get us a priest or we the sharkin easy going church going fstolk will take action, WATCH this space...You have have your Temple of Glamour on the Sommerton Road, build to your Paluouse Glory, just give us one of you slave Priest whom you need to assist you, You thought you had Problems, I suggest, you breace yourself, I I have to return home to get what we deserve/ a Priest, you will get the hearth of my newspaper editoring career

    PS Fr Murray, nite nite on this story can we please move mon, he was a boring fart, self centured, but doent need this publicy, we the Sharkin Folk are tired of the Name, please can we give up and wish him well on what ever Golf course he is on, he deserves Retirement, sadly not as feckin much as we deserve his retirement , Good Luck

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  21. Just feel Bishop Buckley, that the we, the parishioners of Rasharkin are being treated disgustingly from the Hierarchy of Down & Connor. We have been given no information regarding their duty of allocating a Parish a Priest. I am taking about today onwards, what has happened regarding coverage or should I say lack of coverage,up to now really doesn’t matter to most families who need to know that there is the security of a Parish Priest in situ should they be needed for whatever. I am sure plenty of D & C, leaders either read or are told of the writing within your blog. My plea and request is, Please get off your celestial thrones, and Please get us a priest, we deserve it.

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    1. Just reading the above message, which is so true but feel I have to update: last Saturday evening, there was a rush of gossip around the village that we were getting his highness coming to celebrate Mass. Being a Sunday Mornin goer, decided to attend Mass on Sat nite,and honestly I would have been better just staying at home. Tis such a shame that blondie had to attend such a well paying parish, that never gives a bother to him, to update them on what is happening, did take him 10 weeks and as a clerical communicator I know he or his wee lads read this page. How dare we the Catholic Mass goes ask him what is de story Noel buddy, all we want is a Priest, is that too much to ask, but the second time he hit the altar with girlish bad temper transfixed us all – Tis your job Sir Noel of the Palace to cover Parishes – yeah we know there is a shortage of Priest, and better than you we know why that is, It is sad that there a shortage of priest but give us a break there is many names still on the diocesan Priests page, Maybe you could get of your throne and start doing something for your keep, the parish has lasted without you for all those absent weeks, and coming in at the 11th hour is simply a butt saving exercise – Finally we don't need you to come to sharkin and patronise us – better when you keep your head in the celestial sand

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  22. I totally agree with the last comments, very well written. I just feel as a Church goer at Saint Marys, nobody gives a hoot about us, whether we sink or swim. They say that communication is the Art of Management, shows the lack of management our Bishop(s) have in this case. We are tired of being the forgotten Parish – a total disgrace and shame on you all. Just wish I knew how to bring shame to the hierarchy and so called leaders. Something you might think about !!

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  23. Bishop Pat is my delight after a few weeks of our new relief Priest Fr. O ‘Kane, a SMA based at Dromantine, What can I say, such a Decent Holy Religious Man, he is loved by all. He uses words like love, peace, thank you, beautiful music, and his biggest attribute is in what he says – His AVAILABILLTY, as he keeps telling us. Thank you lord for giving us such a great priest, a man we deserve and will cherish, I so pray we have him for a while, we have done our hardship, no need to give out anymore, thanks bee, Noelly got off the hock well, cause us Sharkin folk are no push over’s –  Bless us all.

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  24. Ah Bishop, So wonderful to read the above comments, this lady is so correct, can I suggest, that we get a new Header, and colum, New relief Priest is Rasharkin, is a stayer or Give the good people of Rasharkin a Good Priest, all I hear is Prayer. Lets move on as Fr Murray has, Thank You Pat.

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