On 14th July Tom Russell OFM died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin. He was 86 years old and a member of the Clonmel fraternity.

Born in Blanchardstown, Dublin in 1936, Tom joined the Franciscan Order in 1953, as had his older brother, Michael (religious name, Myles), some years earlier.

Celebrating his First Profession in Killarney in September 1954, he went on to study in Galway University, Leuven and Rome, where he was ordained a priest in 1963.

That same year he went to join the Irish Franciscan mission in then Rhodesia. Tom was based there, serving the people in various missions and parishes with great dedication, until he returned to Ireland in 1999 – apart from a period (1981-87) when he lectured in Sacred Liturgy in the National Seminary in Pretoria, South Africa.

Home in Ireland, Tom’s gracious courtesy and pastoral enthusiasm endeared him to the people in the various friaries where he ministered – Drogheda, Killarney, Galway, Rossnowlagh and finally Clonmel, where he was assigned in 2014.

He will be deeply missed by his family, friars, and friends.

Tom’s remains will be brought from Conlon’s Funeral Home in Clonmel to the Franciscan Friary in Abbey Street at 5.30pm on Sunday 17th July.

The Funeral Mass taking place on Monday at 11.00am followed by burial in St Patrick’s Cemetery.

May his gentle and generous soul rest in the joy of the Lord.