Plans for a Fr Ray Browne memorial statue

The Fr Raymond Browne Memorial Committee in Kilbride will launch a fundraising drive in the coming weeks to raise monies for the production of a marble statue depicting the much-loved parish priest, who sadly passed away in November 2020.

  A launch night will take place on Saturday, April 29th, and will include a showing of the Fr Raymond Browne documentary which was produced by filmmaker Ronan Carley.

  Details of an idonate fundraising page will be revealed on the night and it is hoped that the committee, who are in collaboration with Roscommon-based Feelystone, will host a special unveiling of the statue this summer. 

  Fr Raymond Browne was born in Co. Sligo in 1928 but served much of his 66 years in the priesthood in Co. Roscommon. He was ordained to the Diocese of Elphin in 1954 and spent his first years as a ‘guest priest’ in Nigeria. 

 On returning to Ireland in 1958, Fr. Ray as he was known as, was appointed curate at Drumboylan in Ardcarne parish before moving to the Sacred Heart Parish in Roscommon town. He then moved to Fourmilehouse in 1986 where he became parish priest of Kilbride. 

  Chairperson of the Fr Raymond Browne Memorial Committee, Tim Donnelly, said the fundraiser, which will be launched on Fr Ray’s Memorial Weekend from April 28th to 30th, would go towards honouring the popular priest’s legacy.

  “We are hoping to raise a total of €12,000 and that would provide for the statue of Fr. Ray and seating in the graveyard in Derrane,” Mr Donnelly said.

  “We feel that this is an appropriate way to honour his legacy. He was loved everywhere he went, whether it was Nigeria, Drumboylan, Roscommon or here in Kilbride. He left each parish a better place and achieved something in every one”.

  Paying further tribute, other committee members spoke of Fr Ray as ‘a visionary’ and said he was humble in everything he did, highlighting the development work he inspired in Kilbride as well as his care for the sick and elderly. 

  “He met with three saints during his lifetime; Saint Teresa, Padre Pio and Pope John Paul II and to me he is a saint too,” Mr. Donnelly concluded. 

  The launch night for Fr Raymond Browne’s Memorial Weekend will take place at 8.15 pm on Saturday, April 29th. As well as a showing of the documentary, light refreshments will be served and there will be a raffle. Tickets cost €10 and are available from any committee member.