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Fundraising Provides Benches To Remember Fr. Con

Writes Marcia D'Alton

A gala coffee morning was held in the Fr. Collins Centre (old Star of the Sea school), Passage West, on Saturday, 6th November.

This coffee morning was the culmination of over two months of active fundraising to enable the placing of benches as an ongoing reminder of the legacy of love, acceptance and friendship that Fr. Con Cronin left in each of the four towns of the Harbour Parishes where he served until the tragic accident in August that claimed his life and that of bus driver Mark Wills.

At the outset, the intention was to place a bench in Passage West, Monkstown, Shanbally and Ringaskiddy. Reflecting the boundlessness of Fr. Con, the fundraising aims and donations evolved at the request of three West Cork communities closest to his heart.

Organisers of the Passage West Coffee Morning Fundraiser: Ann Spriggs, Jess O'Riordan, Claire & Ellen Coleman, Gabriella Pace & Cllr. Marcia D'Alton, 6th November. Photos: Siobhán Russell

Additional benches will now also be installed in Coomhola, Kealkil and Gougane Barra. Permission has been requested from Cork County Council to place a discreet plaque at the location of the accident, remembering both Fr. Con and the bus driver, Mark Wills. The frequency with which people pause at this spot is an indication of its significance.

Any funds remaining after the installation of the benches and plaque will go towards the refurbishment of St. Elizabeth’s Room in St. Mary’s Church, Passage West. The Parish Assembly plans for St. Elizabeth’s to become a centre at the service of the Lower Harbour community in memory of Fr. Con.

Saturday morning was lots of fun. Tea/coffee was kindly provided by GG’s Coffee & Ice Cream, there was buns and goodies in abundance, games for kids, face painting and a raffle with lots of super prizes.

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