News

Priest and retired lecturer dies in house fire

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Forensic teams were at the scene this morning to carry out a technical examination
Forensic teams were at the scene this morning to carry out a technical examination

An elderly priest has died in an early-morning house fire near Tralee, authorities have confirmed.

Fr Gearoid O’Donnchada (82) perished in a blaze at his home in Fenit in the early hours of the morning . He was a retired lecturer, local historian and sociologist.

Three fire units were called to the scene after a blaze was spotted at approximately 2am. Emergency services worked tirelessly for two hours to bring the fire under control. 

Forensic teams were at the scene this morning to carry out a technical examination. Gardai are not treating the death as suspicious. 

Tributes have been paid to the late priest, who served his parish faithfully for many years. 

Local Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris, who lives in Fenit, paid tribute to the retired lecturer. 

"He was involved in many projects in the area over the years, none so much as the St. Brendan the Navigator statue on Samphire Island at Fenit pier which he spearheaded and will forever be connected with him," he said.

"His historical knowledge will be impossible to replace and to his family and many friends I express my deepest sympathy.

"His passing has left a deep void and sense of bewilderment in the area which has suffered many tragedies over the years, people like Fr. O'Donnchada were always there to help in these situations and I know the parish of Fenit will rally around to help his family at this terrible time."