Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

MULCAHY David né le 5 septembre 1907 à Garryowen
dans le diocèse de Limerick, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 19 juin 1932
prêtre le 21 décembre 1935
décédé le 13 septembre 1991

1936-1966 missionnaire au Nigeria
1936-1940, vicariat du Bénin
1942-1943, vicariat de Lagos
1943-1952, vicariat de Ondo-Ilorin
1953-1966, diocèse de Ondo
1967-1969 Allerton Park, province de GB
1969-1983 diocèse de Limerick
1984-1991 Blackrock Road, Cork, retiré

décédé à Cork, Irlande, le 13 septembre 1991,
à l'âge de 84 ans

Father David Augustine MULCAHY (1907 - 1991)

David Mulcahy was born at Garryowen, Limerick (his family address was 'View House', Newcastle), in the diocese of Limerick. S.M.A. documentation records Dave's birth as having taken place on 28 August 1908. However a copy of his birth certificate issued on 13 December 1983, records his date of birth as 5 September 1907. He died in the Regional hospital, Cork, on 13 September 1991.

One of a family of thirteen, David (Dave) worked for a number of years, having completed his primary education, before deciding to become a priest. With this in view he commenced his secondary education at the Salesian college, Pallaskenry, in 1926. His missionary vocation may be traced to a chance meeting with Jim Young S.M.A., after which he took the decision to devote his life to Africa. Accordingly, in 1929 he entered the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, where he completed his secondary schooling; in the following September he joined the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. Dave commenced his theological studies in the Society's major seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down, in 1932. He was received as a member of the Society on 19 June 1932; and was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 21 December 1935. He was one of a group of twenty one ordained on that day.

After ordination Dave was appointed to the vicariate of Benin, in south western, a vast jurisdiction which six years earlier had been confided to the Irish Province of the Society. Dave sailed for Africa on the Bergensfiord, a Norwegian ship, landing at Lagos in October 1936. Dave's first appointment, given to him by Francis O'Rourke, the vicar apostolic, was to Abeokuta where he studied Yoruba, learned about Yoruba culture and undertook supervised pastoral work. Six months later, having passed his language examination and received faculties to hear confessions, he was appointed to Holy Cross cathedral mission, in Lagos city. This was the oldest mission station in Nigeria, established in 1868. Dave joined a staff led by Pat Hurst and which included Patrick Cahill, Lawrence Dolan, William Field and Pat Dorr. There were over 10,000 catholic members attached to the 'parish', as well as 1,000 catechumens. The existing cathedral was much too small for such numbers and one of Bishop O'Rourke's great concerns was to provide a new cathedral for the vicariate. Dave was involved in the fund raising for this important project.

Dave came to Ireland on his first home leave in December 1940. He returned to Africa in March 1942. Leo Hale Taylor had become vicar apostolic in 1939 after the death of Bishop O'Rourke. He appointed Dave to Ado Ekiti, in the north east of the territory. After six months Dave was posted to Ondo, where a mission had been first established in 1927. Ondo had a catholic community of over 3,000 members and 500 catechumens. In 1943 the Ondo and Ilorin districts of the vicariate were detached and erected as a separate jurisdiction, under the title: vicariate of Ondo Ilorin. Thomas P. Hughes was appointed vicar apostolic and Dave was one of the founding staff. He continued on in Ondo until the end of his next tour of duty, going to Ireland in June 1946.

When David next returned to Nigeria, in August 1947, he was posted to Effon Alaye, where he was assisted first by Tom Gorman and later by Luke Carney. Effon station had been founded in 1914 under the patronage of St. Michael. In 1950 the Nigerian hierarchy was erected and the Ondo Ilorin jurisdiction became 'the diocese of Ondo'. Dave had just taken charge of Oro mission in Ilorin district. Dave was to serve in Ondo diocese for a further sixteen. In 1956 Dave fell ill and was hospitalised at Owo where he received treatment for a cardiac problem. He made a good recovery and returned to his duties in Oro. After his next home leave, in February 1957, Dave was appointed superior of St. Francis Xavier's parish, Owo, where he was assisted by Michael Conway and later by Tommy Blee. In November 1960, after his next leave, Dave was appointed to St. Patrick's parish, Oka.

The 30 years Dave spent in Nigeria were years of great change and development for the Church. Dave witnessed many subdivisions of the original jurisdiction to which he was attached, all made necessary by the rapid pace of development. Dave was one of the missionary stalwarts of this era whose Trojan efforts made such development possible. Early in 1966 Dave was hospitalised in Ondo (the doctor who cared for him, Alberto Olivoni has since become a priest member of the Society) and eventually was forced to retire to Europe, arriving in Ireland in May. After a period of convalescence, in 1967 he joined the British district of the Society which was in the process of being formed into a full Province. Dave spend two years as spiritual director in its seminary at Allerton Park, Yorkshire.

He then returned to the Irish Province, and was assigned to his beloved Limerick diocese to work in Martinstown, two miles from Kilmallock, in the parish of Bulgaden. For fourteen years (1969 1983) Dave served the people with great devotion before retiring. He spent his years of retirement at Blackrock Road where he celebrated his golden jubilee in 1985. A gentle and agreeable man, he was blessed with a good sense of humour and a fine singing voice. His life, whether in Africa or in Martinstown or with his confreres at Blackrock Road, was one of influence on others. His own personal charm, his ready wit, his love of story telling, his laughter and obvious contentment, his love of music, his care for and interest in people, his gentle manner, especially his love of his origins and his pride in being not only a Limerick man but being from Garryowen, are things which will be remembered.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.