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Popular parish priest to take on extra challenge

GREENCASTLE priest Fr Eddie Gallagher is preparing to take on an “extra challenge” as he takes over a parish in Gortin.

Today, Fr Gallagher will serve as parish priest of Badoney Lower, while retaining his responsibilities as Parish Priest of Greencastle.

Outgoing parish priest Fr John Forbes, who has been the parish priest in Badoney for 12 years, will remain as priest in residence.

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The Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, announced a number of clerical changes in the Derry Diocese at the weekend.

Fr Gallagher said he is “excited about the new and extra challenge.”

“I am very pleased because I have lived in the area for the past five years and I have come to know and love it.

“Greencastle and the parish of Badoney Lower already have very strong cultural links.

“The two parishes were one parish up until 1892 so in some way, it is a step back into the past.

“However, the good thing is that there will still be a priest present in Gortin as Fr Forbes will be staying on there to do many of the day to day pastoral duties that he does now.”

Fr Gallagher takes on his new role at a time when the Covid restrictions remain in place.

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These will prevent him from meeting his new parishioners in the way he would like to.

Fr Gallagher continued, “In the present time, it is hard to get out and about in the normal way.

“While things have loosened a bit, we still cannot go to houses and knock on the doors like we might have done in the past.

“It has been a real challenge to keep in touch with people during the pandemic.
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“But we have developed our online outreach, and I also went out and about on my feet to be visible, and I hope to do the same for Badoney Lower,” concluded Fr Gallagher.

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