Cork's second largest parish could lose priest
The community of Kilmichael has started a petition to retain its parish priest, Fr Jerry Cremin, who could be moved by Bishop John Buckley.
PJ Curtin has been living in Kilmichael for 50 years and is one of the main petitioners in the community fighting to keep Fr Cremin in his parish.
"We only have one priest in our parish so things are tight as it is. The population isn't that large in our area but we are the second largest parish in Cork in which there is three churches. The parish lies between the Lee Valley and Dunmanway and if Fr Cremin were to be replaced it would be a complete disaster.
"He is an integral part of the community who has been involved in a number of different projects including the Suicide Awareness Programme so it is both the young and the old of the parish who have a lot of trust in Fr Cremin, it would be a disaster if he was moved from the area."
Fr Cremin served as parish priest in the Glen in Cork City until six years ago, when he returned to Kilmichael following a vicious attack by two teenagers.
Speaking to the Cork Independent, Fr Cremin said he understood the difficulties:
"I understand that this is a difficult situation for everyone. The parish boundaries are being re-organised at present and while I don't believe that I can stay in Kilmichael forever, I think it would be beneficial for the parish if I were to stay for now.
"Moving priests happens all the time as a result of priests retiring and at the moment I am accepting of whatever decision Bishop Buckley has for me but if I thought there was a chance for me to stay I would fight for it.
"I have been involved in this parish for 32 years and I have direct involvement with two or three generations in the community. That is a difficult relationship to replace, particularly for someone who is on a learning curve.
He said the campaign was a "lovely gesture" from "an exceptional parish".
The 'Keep Fr Cremin in Kilmichael' petition group was to have a community alert meeting last night in Dromleigh NS. For more information visit its Facebook page.
Bishop John Buckley was not available for comment at the time of going to print.