The Late Fr. Jack Heffernan, Main Street, Castleisland

Lower Main Street, Castleisland native, the late Fr. John 'Jack' Heffernan pictured with the Tangneys, Anne Marie (left) and Mary.
Lower Main Street, Castleisland native, the late Fr. John ‘Jack’ Heffernan pictured with the Tangneys, Anne Marie (left) and Mary.

The death has occurred Fr. John ‘Jack’  Heffernan, Our Lady of Fatima Home, Oakpark, Tralee, Co. Kerry and late of Main Street, Castleisland, Co. Kerry and Paisley, Scotland.

March 15th 2018. Peacefully in his 92nd year.

Sadly missed by his loving brother Dermot (Dem), nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, sisters and staff of Our Lady of Fatima Home, Tralee; fellow priests, parishioners and pupils of the parishes and schools in which he ministered.

May His Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.

Reposed in the Chapel of Our Lady of Fatima Home, Oakpark, Tralee on Sunday evening (March 18th) from 6pm to 7pm followed by removal to Castleisland Parish Church. Requiem Mass on Monday (March 19th) at 11am. Burial afterwards in Kilbanivane Cemetery, Castleisland.

Date Published: Thursday 15th March 2018. Date of Death: Thursday 15th March 2018

Top and Bottom Clashes

As a young man, Fr. Jack Heffernan played football in the oft talked about clashes between ‘the top’ and ‘the bottom’ where rivalries could be as bitter as any inter-parish encounters.

His mother ran the post office for years from the house which later became known as ‘Dave Geaney’s Corner’ and Fr. Jack was a regular caller to Sheila Prendiville in later years. Sheila and his family would have been friends and neighbours during their Lower Main Street years.

Memories in White and Blue

Writing in the 1983 published, Memories in White and Blue,  which was a publication compiled and launched to commemorate the official re-opening of the Castleisland Desmonds GAA Club sportsfield and club-rooms,  he gives us an insight into his obvious love of his native place and the fond memories from his youth here which he took with him. They also act as a powerful advocate for the benefits of team sports and the bonds they create.

Lovely Summer Evenings

“There was always a football field in Castleisland – on the Limerick Road or the Glounsharoon Road or down in the Crageens.

“Those lovely summer evenings up in the football field ! It was always ‘up’. I suppose the preposition echoed a reaching for perfection.

“Those many hours spent among friends brought much richness into our lives. They were noble lads of gentle blood.

“The cementing of companionship, the acceptamce of challenge, the sheer joy of physical movement in it all!

Chorus of Exhortation

“The evening air was alive with the chorus of exhortation, of appreciation, of youthful endeavour.

As for playing football on Castleisland’s copious Main Street, Fr. Jack recalls:

“Many a Sunday afternoon, instead of going to the field, we would transform the great wide street into a full-scale playing pitch.

Side Walks Marked the Side Lines

“The side walks marked the side lines and a few coats and pullovers made adequate goal-posts.

“A stray dog moving to a warmer spot would be one of the few intrusions to obstruct the flow of play and I cannot recall any injuries.

“The odd window may have been broken but no one ever saw its demise. One of the delights of those games was the exhibition of rare talent and the mastery of ball control by the few.

Approach from the Market Cross

“Many a start in the world of soccer began to glow on the streets of Glasgow and Liverpool and Manchester.

“A whistle did not normally bring our Sunday games to a close. A Garda seen approaching from the Market Cross heralded an instant scrambling of bodies through all known exits, open doors open windows, even closed ones.”

May God be good to him.


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