THE PRIEST at the centre of a row with parishioners over the future of a church without a tabernacle has tendered his resignation.
Fr Séamus Dagens (55) has notified Bishop Philip Boyce of Raphoe of his intention to quit following a clash with parishioners over his plans to sell the tiny St Colmcille's chapel at Laghey Barr, Co Donegal. He has confirmed he has given notice of his intention to resign as parish priest of Ballintra, but has declined to give details.
Fr Dagens is the sole priest in a parish where the only Masses are offered in the main church, St Bridget's in Ballintra village. There has been no Sunday Mass at St Colmcille's, six miles away, since friars in the Franciscan community at nearby Rossnowlagh withdrew their back-up service to the parish five years ago because of dwindling numbers ...
See the article for more details. But, it seems this is due to lack of new priests and the gradual decrease in church goers. The priest and parishioners are stuck between a rock and a hard place, the church can't afford to run the chapel and the locals can bear to see it go (and there's not enough locals to warrant their own priest).
And the parish's homepage:
UPDATE: See the 1st comment below for some insight from someone from the area, and for corrections to some of my assumptions.