Archbishop Eamon Martin pays tribute to the late Father Martin Clarke RIP

29 Oct 2013

I was saddened to hear of the death of Father Martin Clarke, a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin.  To Father Martin’s family and friends – his sisters Deirdre and Eimir, his brother Peter and to his extended family – I offer my prayerful support at this difficult time for all.

I wish also to extend my sympathies to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin and to the parishioners of Donnybrook where Father Martin ministered as a much loved parish priest for the last number of years.

Father Martin was a deeply spiritual priest of warm disposition and who was blessed with a multitude of gifts.  For many years Father Martin was well known both throughout the Catholic Church in Ireland and in wider society, arising from his roles and contributions as director of Catholic Youth Care; as director of the Catholic Communications Office of the Irish Bishops’ Conference in Maynooth; and separately as the director of communications for the Archdiocese of Dublin.  Up to this September Father Martin served as chairman of the bishops’ publishing agency Veritas.

As principal spokesperson for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference and as director of communications, Father Martin played an important role in communicating the pastoral work of the councils and agencies of the Bishops’ Conference.  His appointment came at a difficult and challenging time for media relations and the Catholic Church in Ireland.  Father Martin always carried out his duties with great care and attention to detail.

Father Martin was a faithful servant during his thirty three years as a priest.  He was devoted to his family and always had time for his many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Prayer, honesty, and service were the hallmarks of Father Martin’s ministry.  Father Martin gave great witness in the way he bore his long illness with courage and dignity and in the way he accepted his final diagnosis.  May he now rest in peace and “may Christ, who called you, take you to Himself.”


  • Archbishop Eamon Martin is Chairman of the Council for Communications of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
  • Requiem Mass for Father Martin will be celebrated today at 10:00am in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Donnybrook, Dublin, followed by interment in Deans Grange cemetery.  Please see below a brief biography of the life and ministry of Father Martin Clarke RIP:

–          Father Martin Clarke (66) was a native of Booterstown, Co Dublin, the youngest of five children born to Peter Clarke and his wife Greta Lysaght.  He studied law at UCD, trained as a solicitor, qualifying in 1970.  He practised law for five years and in 1976 at the age of 29, he began his studies for the priesthood at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, the seminary of the Archdiocese of Dublin.  He was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish of Booterstown in 1980.

–          First parish appointment, following his ordination, was as Curate in Celbridge and Straffan, Co Kildare.

–          In 1983 he appointed as Director of Catholic Youth Care in Dublin.

–          In 1997 he was appointed as principal spokesperson of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, based in Booterstown, Co Dublin.  In 2000 he was also appointed director of communications for the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference moving to the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

–          In 2003, on completion of his term with the Bishops’ Conference, Father Martin served as director of communications for the Archdiocese of Dublin.  His next appointed was as Parish Priest of Monkstown in Dublin in September 2004 and he ministered there for five years before his appointment to Donnybrook parish, where he was installed as Parish Priest in September 2009.   In 2006 Father Martin was appointed to the Board of Veritas, and he served as chairman of Veritas from 2010 until September 2013.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444