Tuesday, 25 August 2020 23:31

Tributes to priest and Roundway Hospital nurse Featured

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Father Martin Griffin

PEOPLE are expected to line the streets of Devizes on Monday to say a final farewell to Father Martin Griffin, who has died aged 81.

Father Martin, who was born in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland, first came to Devizes in 1957 as an 18-year-old to be part of a growing Irish community.

He was helped to settle in by Teresa and Bill Scanlon, who lived in Estcourt Crescent, and began work at Roundway Hospital.

He trained as a mental health nurse and later completed his general nursing training before returning to work at Roundway as a charge nurse.

In 1970 he had the calling to become a priest and studied for six years at the Mission of St Francis of Sales.

He was ordained at Our Lady of Immaculate Conception in Devizes in June, 1976 with Mr and Mrs Scanlon’s son Liam as an altar boy.

He, along with two other boys who took part in that service, will be pallbearers at the funeral.

In 2004 Father Martin became priest of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception and served for two years before moving to other parts of the country and later become parish priest in Malmesbury.

He returned to Devizes in 2018 after Father Benny left in the Feburary and remained in charge until Fr Paul Gonsalves took over in June.

Mr Scanlon said: “Father Martin was a man with a wonderful sense of humour and could be sarcastic but never in a cruel way.

“He was a fantastic man who always returned to Devizes for special occasions. He is very well loved. He loved his sport and socialising and tried hard to be as normal as possible.”

One friend said: “Many of us have lost a dear friend, Martin was both an accomplished nurse, who in his 30s became the most wonderful of RC priests and who shone in all our lives.”

Covid-19 restrictions mean only 30 mourners can take part in funeral services so three will be held on Monday before the burial on Tuesday.

Before then funeral director Paul McDonald will lead the cortege from St John’s Street at 3pm and go through the Market Place to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception.

Read this article on the Gazette and Herald here...

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