Death of Saintly Priest
News of Fr. O'Keeffe's death reached West Clare on Tuesday morning and the immediate reaction was ‘that we had the passing of a saint'. Although he had been in declining health with the past few years and a full recovery was not on the cards; the death created a great sadness. Fr. John or better known as Fr. Jack O'Keeffe was based in Coolmeen - Cranny since November 1989. Many of the youth grew up with the priest and indeed he was their Pope John Paul 11. He was a priest of saintly qualities, he led a simple life making people happy with his involvement in sport, discos, youth clubs and foreign educational tours. Fr. O'Keeffe cycled the entire of the parish and beyond and stopped and chatted with the people. The elderly loved to see him arrive on the First Friday. He had a lovely peaceful smile for all he came in contact with and the gentle 'Hello' was so genuine.  His masses were enhanced with a brief homily, the meaningful words at weddings, funerals etc! will forever live on in memory. Fr. O'Keeffe never failed to come out in all weather conditions whether it be frost, snow or a flood. Thousands of people paid their respects on Tuesday and Wednesday night at St. Benedict's Church, Coolmeen . Cranny church was overflowing with priests on Thursday at 12 noon for Mrs Pauleen Ryan's funeral mass and again at 4pm that evening for Fr. O'Keeffe's funeral mass. Well-done to the many people from Cranny-Coolmeen who helped with the organising over the three days. May Jesus and Mary now welcome both Mrs Ryan and Very Rev. Fr. John O'Keeffe to Heaven, where there is no more pain or suffering - just ever- lasting happiness.

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