The death has taken place of well-known Clare born priest Fr Kevin McNamara who served in the diocese of Kerry for over three decades.
Originally from Cooraclare in West Clare, Fr Kevin was ordained in 1981 as a Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest. He first served in Liverpool and later in Kirby before he returned to Ireland to serve as parish priest of the Sacred Heart Parish in Cork in 1993.
Fr Kevin (65) worked in the communities of Moyvane, Knocknaure, Asdee, Gneeveguilla, Rathmore and Killarney during his time as a priest.
His final appointment was as Parish Priest of Glenflesk.
Fr Kevin, as he was affectionately known, is understood to have been in hospital for a number of days when he suddenly took ill and passed away.
He was controversial in his views and earlier this year called for a boycott of the television licence after he claimed RTÉ was ‘nitpicking’ and attempting to find fault with the Catholic Church.
The call came after a scene in RTÉ soap Fair City portrayed a character confessing to a priest that he had fathered her child when they were teenagers.
Fr Kevin had also lodged a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority against The Late Late Show after an item by Limerick comedy duo the Rubberbandits referred to the eucharist as “haunted bread”.
Parishes and communities across Co Kerry have been left shocked by Fr Kevin’s sudden passing.
A post on the Killarney Parish Facebook page this evening said: “Killarney Parish extends our sympathies to Bishop Ray, the family, friends and parishioners & clergy of the Diocese of Kerry on the sudden passing of our colleague and friend Fr Kevin McNamara P.P.
Fr Kevin served in this parish for many years as a curate. May he rest in the light and peace of the Risen Christ.”