St Eugene’s Cathedral
Francis Street, Derry
BT48 9AP | Tel: 028 7126 2302
|Born||31st July 1929|
|Ordained Priest||20th June 1954|
|Died||25th December 2016|
From the homily of Fr Eugene Hasson at the Funeral Mass for Fr George:
"Fr. George's story began not too many miles from here in Carndonagh where George was the youngest of a family of 14 siblings, three of whom died in infancy as you his family know. We express our prayerful solidarity with his surviving sister Ann and his many nephews and nieces who have gathered here this afternoon.
George was gifted athletically. As a young man he was a talented soccer player, playing centre-forward for Carn Rangers and he maintained an interest in soccer and many sports. I remember that Monday afternoons were sacred for a four ball at Baronscourt, Newtownstewart. Fr. George told me that Monday's were their day, on that course where they prepared their homilies for the following Sunday!
George was gifted musically with a beautiful singing voice. He loved the local drama scene and the Wexford Opera festival was a highlight on his annual calendar.
He was gifted with a unique cadence and tone to his voice, that made his speaking or singing in public very distinctive.
I'm sure that it was in that large family environment that George discovered the values and developed the gifts of character that nurtured every aspect of his life thereafter.
I am sure his family influence gave him direction when he came to answering the Lord's call to priesthood. He had two uncles priests in this diocese and his older brother Eunan had entered the Passionist Order and served his ministry in Africa.
George brought all of his gifts and talents to Maynooth where he began his academic studies in 1947. There were 64 men from all four provinces of Ireland ordained on 20th June 1954 by Archbishop McQuaid of Dublin.
In a few notes shared with one of his nieces a while ago, he wrote about this part of his story in these words "we were dispatched from there to our respective diocese to seek appointment from our bishops"
Through a journey of 60 years of ministry in this diocese Fr. George served in the parishes of Greencastle (Co.Tyrone), where his uncle Fr. George Nelson had been he em first parish priest of that new parish in 1892; Glenullin in Co. Derry in the parish of Errigal where his parish priest was Fr. Lagan, uncle of Bishop Lagan here today; Lavey in south Derry, Dungiven in North Derry, Drung, Co.Donegal, Cappagh/Killyclogher C.Tyrone, Dunamanagh, where served 21 years as parish priest until the 'magic age of 75' (that was how he described it in his notes) and finally he was very happy to return here to this parish where Bishop Hegarty invited him to minister in Desertegney."