Regretted death of much loved chaplain to Letterkenny Hospital, Kevin McNamara

Regretted death of much loved chaplain to Letterkenny Hospital, Kevin McNamara
Staff Reporter editorial@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

It was with considerable regret that natives of Ballina learned of the untimely passing of Kevin McNamara, son of Eileen and Padraic McNamara, Bohernasup, Ballina.

At the time of his passing, Kevin was in his 11th year of service as Chaplain to Letterkenny Hospital where he was much loved and renowned for his patient kindness and willingness to serve his patients.

Educated at St. Muredach's College, Ballina, he studied theology subsequently at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth before attending the Angelicum University in Rome where he obtained a Bachelors in Sacred Theology.

Imbued with a charitable and caring nature, he was devoted to his profession and always went the extra mile with his patients in their time of need. The night before his unexpected passing from his grieving family and friends he attended three separate wakes to comfort the bereaved in surrounding Letterkenny, little knowing the favour would so soon be returned in earnest by those he had comforted.

He loved his work, was deeply conscientious in the execution of his Christian duties and did so with little account of the many hours giving without counting and the personal cost his dedication required of him.

In return, the affection returned by his many patients, friends and colleagues brought him great joy, and the scenes of grief that accompanied his sudden passing were a testament to the esteem and affection in which all held him. He found his continued role as Catholic Chaplain deeply fulfilling, and he brought much laughter and solace to many a bedside with his ability to relate funny stories and items of news to distract from their suffering and pain.

His charitable endeavours did not end with the onerous duties of a hospital chaplain. He also volunteered his able services to the local Mary's Meals Group and entered into this role with equal selflessness and a spirit of giving. His arrival brought a smile to many a face, and he befriended the old and disabled with sincere affection and took a personal interest in their spiritual well being.

A former Mayor of Letterkenny, Paschal Blake said “Kevin's passing, at so young an age, leaves a huge void in the lives of so many people. Kevin always carried out his pastoral duties in a quiet and dignified manner. He was a great support to patients and families in often tough circumstances.”

His remains reposed at the Letterkenny Hospital Chapel, where he spent many an hour in prayer followed by a Mass the following morning. The hospital by all account came to a standstill, and the large crowds were a testimony to the esteem in which his adopted community held Kevin.

He was a regular visitor to his home in Ballina and renewed his cherished familial bonds with his mother Eileen and father Padraic. He had planned several trips over the coming months to include a trip to Canada with his beloved parents to visit his brother Patrick, a doctor in Toronto. These plans are regrettably not to be, leaving a great void in the lives of his extended family.

May the Lord reward him for his many services and may he rest in peace.