Columban Fr Daniel Canniffe RIP




Fr Daniel Canniffe
3 July 1928 - 28 June 2018

Fr Daniel 'Dan' Canniffe was born on 3 July 1928 in Bandon, County Cork, Ireland. He was an only child as were each of his parents. Educated at Bandon Naotional School, Hamilton High School, Bandon, and St Finbarr's College, Farrenferris, County Cork, he entered St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Navan, in September 1945.

Immaculate Conception Church, Bandon [Parish FB]

Ordained priest on 21 December 1951 Father Dan was appointed to Japan. He spent seven years there. After language school he was involved in pastoral work in Yakatamachi, Wakayama City. There he was involved in using all the usual techniques to make the Church known. This included posters, street collections for the poor, film shows, lectures by invited speakers, promotion of the Legion of Mary, the Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Young Christian Workers. Those were the years of plenty in post-war Japan when many people entered the Church.

Church of the Assumption, Yakatamachi [Source]


After his first home vacation Father Dan was appointed to Mission Promotion work in Ireland for the following five years. In 1965, when the first 'Retirement Wing' was establsihed in St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Father Dan was appointed as its first superior and was known to his Columban confreres as 'The Wing Commander'.

After ten years in this position Father Dan was appointed to pastoral work in St John's Parish, Tralee, County Kerry, where he spent seven happy years. He was once again recalled to Dalgan Park as House Superior from 1982 to 1986.

St John's Church, Tralee [Wikipedia]

Following this Father Dan returned again to pastoral work in Tralee, this time to the parish of Our Lady and St Brendan, from 1986 to 1989. He was widely known and loved in Tralee: his bantering style concealed a deep pastoral concern and he related well to both young and old.

Racehorses in Longchamps, Edgar Degas [Web Gallery of Art]

Father Dan's health began to deteriorate around this time and he retired to St Columban's Retirement Home where he remained until his final illness. He loved to bet on the horses and for years he willingly place bets for any other interested 'punters' in the retirement home as part of his morning schedule. His final illness was the result of a fall. He lost consciousness, was briefly treated at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin before returning to die in Dalgan Park on the morning of 28 June.

May he rest in peace.

Corpus Christi Procession, Bandon, June 1941

The young Dan Canniffe would have been just short of 13 when this took place and almost certainly was part of it.

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