Fr Aodh Eamonn O’Halpin

Apr 6, 2022

Aodh was born in Dundalk on 31st January 1934. He was educated at Presentation Brothers, Letterkenny, St Columban’s NS, Letterkenny, and St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny. He came to St Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan in September 1952 and was ordained priest on 21st December 1958.

The following year he was appointed to the Philippines and to the southern island of Mindanao. Over the next nineteen years, after language studies in Ozamis, he served in Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental, Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental, and Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur.

In all three parishes he was remembered for his cheerfulness, his love for the poor, and his willingness to take whatever measures were necessary to advocate on behalf of those who were oppressed.

By the late 1970s, Aodh was in Ireland, located in Dublin, working on behalf of the indigenous Filipinos whose whole way of life was threatened by a projected Chico River Dam on the island of Luzon, Philippines.

The Irish ESB Group successfully bid for the projected dam and Aodh organised trade unions and other concerned citizens in protest. Due to the efforts of his group and similar groups in the Philippines, the project was eventually shelved.

In the early 1980s Aodh moved to London. He would spend the next forty years working with Filipinos and other minority groups advocating on their behalf for housing, just working conditions, providing safe haven for refugees, persons being held in slave-like conditions by wealthy plutocrats, and persons unjustly accused of crimes.

During those years he worked from the Columban house in Reddington Road, from East London where he served as pastor in St Anne’s Parish (1997-2006) and finally from the Ealing house. He was a generous and welcoming host to any and all visitors. Even in a Society like ours with its fair share of ‘characters’ Aodh was unique.

Charming, fearless, unconventional, he never lost his sense of humour but his commitment to justice for the poor and oppressed of any and all nationalities and to ecology was deadly serious. He never missed a chance to speak on behalf of equality for women.

Aodh came to the Dalgan Retirement Home a few months ago. He was already quite ill and he died peacefully on the morning of 2nd April 2022. The thousands of persons who were helped by him over a lifetime will join us in grieving his loss.

May he rest in peace.

Funeral Mass of Fr Aodh O’Halpin:

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