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Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

DONOHUE Peter né le 8 janvier 1935 à Portlaoise
dans le diocèse de Kildare & Leighlin, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 14 juin 1954
prêtre le 18 juin 1958
décédé le 12 novembre 1975

1958-1961 Cork université, sciences
1961-1970 missionnaire au Nigeria
1961-1969 : archidiocèse de Lagos
1969-1970 : diocèse d’Ijebu-Ode
1970-1972 collège de Ballinafad
1972-1975 diocèse d’Ijebu-Ode

décédé près de Ogbere, Nigeria, le 12 novembre 1975,
à l'âge de 41 ans


Father Peter Brendan DONOHUE (1935 - 1975)

Brendan Donohue was born in Portlaoise (the family address was at 5, Grattan Street), in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, on 8 January 1935. He died, as a result of a car accident near Ogbere, in Esure parish, Nigeria, on 12 November 1975.

Brendan studied at the Christian Brothers school in Portlaoise, taking his leaving certificate in 1952. Later that year he joined the S.M.A. novitiate at Kilcolgan, Co Galway, remaining there for a year. From September 1953 the two year novitiate and philosophy course (which had been in the Kilcolgan house since 1918) was replaced by a 'spiritual year', or period of probation. Brendan and his class were transferred to the theological seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down, to which philosophical studies were now added. He completed his second year of philosophy there and then went on to study theology, completing his course in 1958. Brendan was admitted to membership of the Society on 14 June 1954 and was ordained a priest by Bishop Eugene Doherty of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 18 June 1958. He was one of a group of twelve ordained on that day.

After ordination Brendan studied at U.C.C., obtaining an honours B.Sc. degree in 1961 (his principal subject was Botany). He was then assigned to the archdiocese of Lagos, in south western Nigeria. He worked in this jurisdiction between 1961 69. His first appointment, given to him by Archbishop Leo Taylor was to the staff of St. Gregory's college, the renowned secondary school in Ikoyi, Lagos, founded by Leo Taylor in 1928. In 1965 Brendan was transferred to St. Anthony's grammar school, Esure-Imushin. This college had been opened ten years earlier, under the principalship of Anthony Sanusi, a Nigerian Father. Esure mission dated back to 1904. Closed for some 14 years it was later re-established as a station of Ijebu-Ode district. In 1953 Esure became an independent mission district under the superiorship of John Aggey (later archbishop of Lagos) and the foundation of St. Anthony's was an important part of the development drive which followed. Brendan took charge of the teaching of Science and soon won the affection and respect of both staff and students. He also worked in the mission whenever he had time available.

In May 1969 the Ijebu-Ode region of the archdiocese was detached and erected as a separate jurisdiction, namely the diocese of Ijebu-Ode. Anthony Sanusi was ordained first bishop of this diocese in August of the same year. The Esure mission and school were within the boundaries of the new diocese, and Brendan was incorporated into Bishop Sanusi's staff, continuing on at St. Anthony's. In 1970 Brendan returned to Ireland where he studied for his higher diploma in education at U.C.G. During this period of study he tutored at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, the Society's secondary school for prospective candidates. Having obtained his diploma with an honours grade, Brendan returned to his diocese in 1973 where he resumed his teaching at St. Anthony's. In 1974 he was assigned to full-time parish work in Esure and this included a formidable challenge, the completion of a church. In November 1975, returning from a sawmill at J-4 where he had just chosen timber for the church roof, Brendan had a tragic road accident which claimed his young life. The accident involved an army lorry at a narrow bridge near Ogbere.

Brendan's death was a great loss to the young diocese of Ijebu Ode. He was a brilliant teacher and a wise counsellor and friend to students in the Y.C.S.M. He was particularly missed by the younger missionaries in the diocese for whom he was always a great source of encouragement and inspiration. Brendan liked music and could play the accordion. He also liked to play a little golf. At weekends he loved to visit out stations in the region.

Brendan came from a family with strong missionary credentials. His uncle, Michael Donohue, was a member of the Society; he ministered in Western Nigeria and died in 1935 of consumption in New York, where he was funding-raising for the Province. Brendan's brother, Dominic, joined the American Province of the Society. He was drowned in Liberia in 1973 while going to administer the last sacraments to a dying catholic. Brendan's sister, Catherine, joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles.

He is buried in the grounds of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church, Esure, Ijebu-Imusin, Nigeria.