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Statement by President Higgins on the death of Fr Micheál Mac Gréil

Date: Sat 21st Jan, 2023 | 16:22

“It is with great sadness that his colleagues in Social Studies of which he was one of the founders in Ireland, those campaigning for equality and for respect for our Famine heritage, and people across Mayo and beyond, will have heard of the death of Fr Micheál Mac Gréil, SJ.

Micheál Mac Gréil as university teacher, campaigner and priest made a deep impact on so many lives.

Throughout all of his work, Micheál Mac Gréil brought a sense of the urgency of recognising justice issues of compassion. His was an early and constant call for the importance of overcoming social prejudice.

This was reflected in the broad range of causes he supported, such as fighting for the rights of Travellers, for the Irish language, for prison reform, for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, and in support of the Irish language and the development of the western region.

Across his many publications, Micheál emphasised the need for economic arrangements to serve as a means of strengthening community, family, volunteerism and cultural values, rather than at their expense.

He was a man who truly gave authenticity to the importance of linking life and values, something which he taught to so many. He will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.

May I express my deepest sympathies to his fellow Jesuits, to his family and to all his many friends.

The Irish language has lost a great and enthusiastic campaigner.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”