Early Days at Queen of Peace
Who was our first Sacristan? Paddy O’ Reilly son of James O’Reilly who was sacristan in Holy Redeemer from 1919 until his death in 1959.
Those early days in Queen of Peace were very interesting. The Church was consecrated in 1946 by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. The Priest in charge was Fr Maguire, who was transferred from the Holy Redeemer Parish. Paddy donned the sacristan vestments for Dr McQuaids arrival. The Cross bearer was Tommy Kinsella, who trained alter boys for many years in the “Big Parish”.
He recalls that the present picture of the Crucifixion behind the altar originally hung in St Cronin’s in the Main Street, which was the P.P.’s house. Paddy served Mass there for Canon Bowden P.P. who was crippled. The Canon died about 1940.
Paddy was a craft metal worker employed by John Smith and Sons of Wicklow Street, Dublin. With the assistance of Joe Brierton of Kevin Square, he installed the Altar Rail of wrought iron with brass scrolls. Paddy was also involved in the manufacture of the high altar candlestick the round bases of which were cast in bronze and then hammered by hand to produce the finish.
The tabernacle was also made by the same firm whose Managing Director was Mr James of 2 Edward Road, who later became a collector for the new parish.
The Priests who have served
The first curate in the Queen of Peace was Fr Peter Maguire. Queen of Peace was then part of the Holy Redeemer Parish and remained so from 1946 to 1954 when it became a Parish. The first Parish Priest was Rev Fr John Mulcahy P.P. who came from Avoca to Bray. He was assisted by his curate Fr Dan Barrett. At the time the parish had only two priests. When Fr Mulcahy was transferred to Dublin he was replaced as P.P. by Fr William Murphy P.P.. After the death of Fr William Murphy Fr Denis O’ Floinn P.P.became Parish Priest in 1964. After the death of Fr Denis O’ Floinn P.P. Fr William Kenny P.P. was appointed parish priest in 1968. Rev. John Canon McMahon then took over as parish priest in 1982 to be followed by Fr. Larry White P.P. in 2003 who in turn was replaced by Fr Joseph Whelan P.P. in 2012
Among the curates who have served in the parish were Fr Bill Laffin, Fr Maurice Courtney, Fr Brian Fitzgerald, Fr Gerard Ellis, Fr Dan Breen, Fr Míceál Hastings, Fr Philip McManus, Fr Jim Henley, Fr John Mary Mulligan S.J., Fr Michael O’ Keefe, Fr Paddy Moran, Fr Brendan Madden, Fr Eamonn Cahill, Fr Denis Doyle, Fr Finbarr Mullanne, Fr Emmanuel Makola, Chaplain;, Fr Godfrey Kalema, Chaplain, Fr Jean Marie Mbombo, Chaplain. Fr Yusuf Bami, Chaplain.
Fr James Healy
Bray’s most famous priest was Fr James Healy from Little Bray. Believe it or not he was one of a family of twenty-three and was born in Francis Street, Dublin on December 15th 1824. A brilliant performer when it came to playing on words and sentences he became known as the Bray wit.