There was genuine shock and sadness among the community in Letterkenny on learning of the passing of Canon Henry J. Allison last week.
Better known to many as Fr. Harry, he passed away on Thursday January 3rd.
Originally from St. Eunan’s Terrace in Letterkenny, he had spent 54 years in the priesthood working in Scotland in the Diocese of Motherwell.
He served in such places as Airdrie, Hamilton, East Kilbride and Bothwell before being appointed Parish Priest in St. Anthony’s where he spent the last 25 years.
He was born in Letterkenny on December 12, 1933 and was educated by the Presentation Brothers. After studying at St Eunan’s College, he spent six years at St. Peter’s College in Wexford where he was ordained.
He returned to his home town in 2008 to celebrate his golden jubilee with his beloved sisters Peg and Frances.
The esteem in which he was held was reflected in the number of parishioners who travelled from his Scottish parish of St. Anthony’s to join in the celebrations.
Fr Harry was preparing himself for retirement due to his deteriorating health recently.
He celebrated his last Mass in St. Anthony’s at the Christmas Eve midnight mass where he said his good-byes and received a standing ovation from the congregation.
Close friends have been reflecting how appropriate it was that he received his wish to “go with his boots on”.
His parishioners in St. Anthony’s have lost a good shepherd and Peg and Frances a dear brother,” one close friend remarked.
A highly popular figure in his home town, he was honoured with a Civic Reception by Letterkenny Town Council a number of years ago.
He was laid to rest on Wednesday morning following funeral mass at St Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny.