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Added to on August 4, 2008

(Extract from Obituary of Bishop Lucey)

Bishop Lucey got the reputation of being one of Ireland's most outspoken churchmen and refused to be disturbed by controversy. He once said: "I am not surprised or upset when people are against me. Sometimes, things are got all wrong and it is not right that people should be misled."

He refused to define his views as conservative or liberal. "I don't care what labels are put on me, I say what I think."

He spoke out on many aspects of the faith and always took a strong line in defence of Catholic orthodoxy. He maintained that Catholics have no right to disagree with the Church on matters of faith and morals but they have such a right on other matters.

Bishop Lucey's Confirmation ceremonies frequently provided a platform for his statements. Apart from matters of faith and morals, the themes he took up in his public statements were varied: the constitution of the state, the defence of the small farmer, alcoholism, emigration, depopulation of rural areas and many others. He always had an interest in social questions and was a co-founder and one-time President of Christus Rex, the Catholic and social study group.

Though he often cut a stern figure outside his diocese, he was regarded with genuine affection by the ordinary people of Cork, and the people of Cork were closest to his own heart. He led a very busy life, administering his large diocese from his home close to the diocesan seminary in Farranferris. What spare time he allowed himself was spent in reading, gardening, his favourite hobby - beekeeping - and attending hurling matches.

Bishop Lucey retired on August 23, 1980, and shortly afterwards volunteered to work in Kenya. In the June-July 81 issue of Africa, he wrote on "Why I left Cork for Turkana" and very humbly said:

"Behind my decision to come here as a missionary was the desire to make reparation for my sins while I still had the time. Not that I have been all that bad a sinner at any time in my life, I think. But that I haven't been as good as I could be or even as I should be - far, far from it. And that despite the fact that success and promotion came so easily my way in school, in Maynooth, in the priesthood. Each time at Mass, I too have to confess, "that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do".

From him to whom much is given much is expected. What could be fairer? So if we fail to use our talents, or the position we hold and ever so much the more, if we use them wrongly - then we have much to answer for. What better way of escaping punishment in the next life than by punishing ourselves in this life, and doing so expressly to have that much less against us on the Day of Judgement. To do penance - that for me was another reason for not relaxing comfortably at home but opting instead for the Turkana Desert."

Father James Good wrote in the Christmas 1981 issue of Daystar in Africa, published by the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa on "Bishop Lucey in the Turkana Desert". ...............

Most Rev. Cornelius Lucey, Deceased

Parish Of Birth: Ballincollig

Details Of Ordination: 20/6/1927

Bishop : 14/1/1951 - 24/9/1982

Born on 15 Jul 1902.

Date Of Death: 24/9/1982

Place Of Death: Bon Secours Hospital, Cork

Place Of Burial: Cathedral grounds, Cork