‘Compassionate’ priest dies in tragic accident

‘Compassionate’ priest dies in tragic accident Fr John Cummins.
Colm Fitzpatrick and Chai Brady


Tributes are pouring in after a Laois-based priest died yesterday in a “tragic accident” involving his car.

Fr John Cummins (52) of Abbeyleix, Co. Laois, died after an incident at his home on the Ballinakill Road yesterday at around 4.30pm. It is understood that no else was injured in the incident.

Describing his death as “tragic”, Fr Mícheál Murphy, Diocesan Communication Officer of Kildare and Leighlin, told The Irish Catholic: “We’re all just shocked. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. He was a very compassionate, very authentic person, very insightful and hugely respected by his brother priests.”

Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin also paid tribute to the Newbridge native, writing: “It is with deep regret and sadness that I announce the sudden death of Fr John Cummins, parish priest of Abbeyleix, after a freak accident today with his car at the parochial house.

“My thoughts and prayers are with Fr John’s loving mother, brothers and sister, his priest colleagues throughout the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, his team in Faith Development Services and ACCORD, Carlow, and, of course, his many parishioners in Abbeyleix whom he held in his heart so dearly.”

The bishop added that the death of Fr Cummins is a “tremendous” loss to the diocese.

Gardaí have confirmed they are investigating “a sudden/accidental” death that occurred yesterday at Ballinakill Road, Abbeyleix. They added that a post-mortem is expected to be carried out today.

Fr Cummins was appointed to the parish in summer of 2017 and said Mass earlier on the day of his death.