Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

oconnell daniel né le 5 avril 1896 à Ballygaron
dans le diocèse de Kerry, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 8 septembre 1915
prêtre le 16 juin 1927
décédé le 4 janvier 1978 
Père Daniel O'Connell

1927-1968 missionnaire dans la préfecture de l'Ouest Nigeria
aujourd'hui diocèses de Bénin City
Issele-Uku et Warri
1968-1978 Blackrock Road, Cork, retiré

décédé à Cork, Irlande, le 4 janvier 1978,
à l'âge de 76 ans

Daniel O'Connell was born at Ballygarron, Spa, Tralee, in the diocese of Kerry, on 5 April 1896. He died in the Society's house, at Blackrock Road, Cork, on 4 January 1978.

Daniel (Danny) studied at the Dominican college, Newbridge, Co Kildare (1910 1911) and at St. Joseph's apostolic school, Wilton, Cork (19ll 19l3). In 19l3 he went to the S.M.A.'s novitiate for brothers, at Kineurry, near Westport, Co Mayo. He took his oath of membership, as a brother, in 19l5 and renewed the oath annually up to 192l. In September of that year, deciding to study for the priesthood, he entered the Society's house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway, taking his permanent oath of membership on 15 July 1923. He studied theology at the Province's seminary, in Blackrock Road, from 1923 1926; and completed his studies at Dromantine, Co Down, to where the seminary was transferred in September 1926. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 16 June 1927. He was one of a group of eleven ordained on that day.

After ordination Danny was assigned to the vicariate of Western Nigeria, the Province's first mission in Nigeria. He was to remain in the western region (now the dioceses of Benin City, Warri, Lokoja and Issele Uku) from 1927 until October 1968. Danny spent his first tour of duty (1927-1932) at Warri where he revealed his talent as a builder, overseeing the construction of a fine church. Returning from leave in September 1933, Danny was re-appointed to Warri and remained there until he next went on leave in November 1937. Danny began his third tour of duty (1938-1943) in Warri. After six months he was appointed to Aragba and some months later, in June 1939, he went to Ibusa where he was stationed for the remainder of his tour. Returning from leave in 1945 Danny was assigned to the Asaba mission where he completed the church which had been commenced by Pat Braniff. In 1949 he was appointed supervisor of buildings at St. Patrick's secondary school, Asaba, where he built a college chapel. Danny's next appointment, given on his return from leave, in October 1951, was to supervise buildings at St. Columba's, Agbor. In February 1952 he was appointed superior of Sapele mission with a commission to construct a new church. In April 1954, shortly after the church was completed, Danny was invalided home to Ireland for surgery. He made a good recovery and returned to what was now Benin City diocese in March 1955. He was to work in the diocese for a further thirteen years, serving in Ossiomo leper settlement, in Agbor, and in Umunede where he built yet another fine church.

During his many years in Nigeria Danny gained a reputation not only as a builder but also as a pastor who was extraordinarily kind towards the poor. He was a man, too, with a literary bent and a sensitive disposition, keenly interested in anthropology. Danny left behind him at the time of his death a unique written record of Africa, now preserved in the Province's archives at Blackrock Road. He was particularly fascinated by the culture and religion of the people of mid western Nigeria. He found much of the Bible reflected in their various sacrifices, their thanksgiving services, their belief in a future life, and their sacrificial offerings of intercession to those gone before them into heaven. A colleague who knew Danny well wrote: 'Danny had his own way of saying things and he spoke frankly. He was considerate of other people's feelings but he did not shirk responsibility in speaking out in defence of right and truth. He called a spade a spade'. On his retirement from Africa Danny took up residence at Blackrock Road, although during the summer months he spent time in the Society's houses at Kilcolgan and Dromantine. In October 1977 Danny entered the Bon Secours hospital, Cork, with cardiac problems. He returned to the Blackrock Road house shortly before his death.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.