Category: current
Updated: 23/05/18 : 05:38:03

A giant buried in Sligo town yesterday

The now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Bishop Christy Jones. Photo: Elphin Diocese
By Eugene McGloin

A GIANT was buried in Sligo town yesterday; such does not happen too often in anyones full lifetime, anywhere.

No shots were fired and our town didn’t shut shop doors or come to a halt, nor bow its head as a community.


Four languages were recited in the funeral service which also strayed from its solemn liturgy to tell funny stories.

His competence at science was questioned and we even had a sing-song. 

A ‘Great Send-Off’ is how we will remember it and so it should be. 

The song sung by the community, unrehearsed and unflagged, will be remembered for at least as long as the carefully chosen hymns.

If ever the word ‘celebration’ was most apt and the single most correct word to use, then this was it.

Requiem Mass for Christy Jones took just under two hours to complete.

It passed like a lot less time for a man whose contribution to Sligo town wouldn’t be unfairly flattered if given much, much more.

                               Prayers of the Faithful. Photo from

Said Sorry
We heard from his confidant and friend Fr Michael Duignan that he wished to say ‘sorry’ to anyone who felt he hadn’t given them the Full Deal.

The Polish community said thanks, in their native language and in our everyday language, for their (first) recognition he gave them in Sligo town fourteen years ago.

Wider than Sligo, we heard the traveller community adopted Christy as almost their personal chaplain.

Women often have to deal directly with dysfunction and/or poverty in Irish homes and they were included yesterday, too.

In that regard, Christy did many one-to-one acts of kindness and charity. 

But he always went much further. Christy spoke Truth to Power on behalf of all those who might never get chance to traipse the corridors of power.

Premiership Word

“Advocate” was one word which cropped up yesterday several times in Christy’s Send-Off.

It is a premiership word and in the social history of Sligo town for the past half century  ‘Advocate’ and ‘Christy’ are both synonymous and symbiotic. 

Polish, Irish, English, Latin, we all got their message(s) as listeners yesterday.

That was one of his strongest gifts to strangers, singletons, even simpletons  sometimes. Listening.

The Gift Given Outright, to paraphrase the great poet Robert Frost, written even before Christy was a priest.
en Outright, to paraphrase the great poet Robert Frost, written even before Christy was a priest.

Off Chest

Once I rang and asked for thirty minutes of his time to ‘get something off my chest.’

Hmm. When 28 minutes had expired, uninterrupted, I stopped and said no more.

“What do you want me to do,” Christy asked low-key but, but distinctly disarming.

‘Home’ Places

The eulogy and private family words by his nephew yesterday recalled ‘home,’ Roscommon, Rathcroghan, Tulsk. 

But, Michael Duignan’s homily reminded us — and we wanted to hear, too —Christy was a ‘Sligo’ priest. 

Close on sixty years spent here in Sligo town, boy and man. This is ‘home’ too. 

Stay Vivid

Just as Christy Jones was being buried in the Cathedral grounds yesterday, two jets streaked the clear blue sky above Sligo town.

Even at 30,000 feet and though moving at a knots equivalent of 500 miles their destination was easy to identify.

They were moving towards the Atlantic and onto the trail blazed by Columbus, after  St Brendan of course!

The jets’ vapour was first vivid, then broke up, then was gone altogether.

The legacy of the giant we buried yesterday in Sligo will stay vivid for a long, long time to come.

Oh, that sing-song by the faithful at his funeral yesterday was also Christy’s own piece at parties .

The Ned Miller song says “Do What You Do Do Well.” Paid, with spades to spare. Thank you.

            Cardinal Brady reads the Final Prayer of Commendation. Photo:

Link: See Sligo Today 22/5/2018.

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