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Fr Herman (Padraig) Doolan, OCD

Fr Herman Doolan OCD RIPFr Herman was born in Castlemartyr, Co. Cork on January 22, 1934. His father was farm steward at the Carmelite College there with the result that from his early days Fr Herman was in contact with the Carmelite Order. Following Primary School, Fr Herman attended the College at Castlemartyr. He entered the Carmelite Order in Loughrea in September 1952 and was professed on September 12, 1953. He went to St Mary’s, Morehampton Road for philosophy and theology studies and was ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid on December 19, 1959.

He studied spirituality in Rome after ordination and his first appointment on his return to Ireland was to St Teresa’s, Clarendon Street. After St Teresa’s he went to Gerrards Cross near London for several years and while there was asked to serve as an RAF chaplain. It was a ministry he enjoyed very much. In 1971 he returned to Ireland to serve in Castlemartyr. While there he encouraged pupils to take part in the Young Scientist competition and made films for their projects. The pupils enjoyed considerable success. Fr Herman Doolan - photo of CorncrakeHe also took up nature photography at a serious level. This resulted in an outstanding collection of nature photos. He had a great love of horses and established the Castlemartyr Gymkhana. This quickly became an important event attracting schools from many parts of the country.

He returned to St Teresa’s, Clarendon Street in the mid 80’s and quickly made a name for himself as a very compassionate confessor. Many people began to frequent his confessional and continued to do so as long as he was able to hear confessions. One of his penitents wrote, “His kindness, patience and sensitivity will never be forgotten.” He moved to Marlborough Rd in 2003 but faithfully continued his weekly turn at confessions until recently. He was the Mission Procurator for many years and worked to support Carmelite missions in many parts of the world, especially the mission of the Anglo-Irish Province in Nigeria.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in recent years. He accepted his diagnosis gracefully and never complained about the effects the disease had on his life. He had to give up his much loved photography and eventually could not drive. He fell in December and broke his arm. Since then his health has gradually deteriorated. He asked to go into hospital on February 18. Little did we think that he was so near death. His condition deteriorated very rapidly while in hospital and he died peacefully on Thursday, February 25. He was pre-deceased by his brothers Donal, Sean and Fr Ailbe.

His Funeral Mass took place at St Teresa’s, Clarendon Street on Monday, February 29 and he was buried in the Carmelite plot in Glasnevin Cemetery. Fr Vincent O’Hara, OCD preached a moving homily at the Funeral Mass.

He was a true gentleman, kind, compassionate and empathetic – a good and faithful servant of the