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‘Walking Priest’ remembered

GRENADA

Grenada’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell has extended sincere condolences to Bishop Clyde Harvey, the Kiltegan Fathers and the Catholic community, on the recent passing of Fr William Bill O’Carroll.

Fr O’Carroll, a priest of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, also known as the Kiltegan Fathers, died May 20 at the Care Unit at St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Ireland. A private funeral Mass and burial was held due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to the death notice. He was 88.

The May 28 press release from the Prime Minister’s office said Fr O’Carroll, fondly remembered as the ‘Walking Priest’,  spent many years selflessly serving the people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.

Sharing his own fond memories of Fr O’Carroll, PM Mitchell said, “He was well known for his long pilgrimages, from St George to Gouyave and I remember going with him on two occasions. I was so amazed at his energy and his drive. He also spared no effort in raising money for churches and continued to help even as his health deteriorated. I can certainly say he was loved dearly and was an inspiration to many.”

Dr Mitchell, a devout Catholic, said he had a very good relationship with Fr O’Carroll and commended his selfless service. He also stated that he was very visible in the community and connected easily with people.

“The Catholic community and in fact, the wider Grenadian community are deeply appreciative of Fr O’Carroll’s commitment to service”, said the Prime Minister, adding “He impacted many with his quiet and dignified demeanour, his humility, and his ability to connect with people—the old, the young, just about everyone he came into contact with. May he rest in peace.”

According to a Good News Grenada video clip on the diocesan Facebook page, Fr O’Carroll served in Grenada from 1988 to 2015 before returning to Ireland due to ill health. He began walking to raise funds to help restore the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, St George’s after it was seriously damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

In the clip, Bishop Clyde Harvey described Fr O’Carroll as “one of the giants of the Church here” and that it was “in his walking, he inspired.”