Information for media on the Funeral Liturgy for the late Thelma and Mikey Dennany RIP – Embargoed until 11.00am

15 Sep 2022

At 11.00am today, the Funeral Mass for the late Thelma and Mikey Dennany will take place in Saint Mel’s Cathedral, Longford.  Father Sean Casey, Parish Priest of Killoe, Co Longford, in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, will be the chief celebrant for the Mass and will preach the homily.

To respect the wishes of the family for privacy and space, and to facilitate mourners to grieve with dignity, photographers and journalists are asked to assemble in the designated space provided on the Cathedral’s grounds.

Before the Mass begins Father Casey will welcome:

Bishop Pat Storey – Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath and Kildare

Father Tom Healy – Diocesan Administrator, Ardagh & Clonmacnois

John Galligan – Acting Principal, Wilsons Hospital School

Rev Luke Hawkins – Chaplain Wilsons Hospital School

Rev Christian Snell – Longford and Edgeworthstown Group of Parishes

Prefects – Wilsons Hospital School

Father Conor McGee Parish Priest of Multyfarnham Parish

Karl Dermody, Principal and Staff Saint Cremin’s National School, Multyfarnham

Vivienne Mulvey and Niamh Anderson – Waddlers and Toddlers Preschool Rathowen

At the end of Mass. Father Healy, the Diocesan Administrator of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, will deliver a short address on behalf of the faithful of the diocese, as well as the Final Prayer of Commendation.  The Mass will be live streamed on, and please see content below from today’s liturgy.


Singing will be performed by Eimear Reynolds accompanied by Vincent Tully.

Entrance Hymn

To Where You Are

Symbols of Life brought forward by

Toddlers and Waddlers Pre-School, Rathowen – Art Work by Mikey  – Niamh Anderson(childcare)

Saint Cremin’s NS Multyfarnham – Art work by Thelma and collage – Ms. Joan Hickson (class teacher)

Family member   Thelma’s fishing rod  – Aline Fitzgerald (Aunt)

Family member   Mickey’s fishing rod  – John Dennany (Uncle).

Liturgy of the Word

First Reading      Read by Austin Dennany (Uncle)

A Reading from the Prophet Isaiah.  25:6,7-9

The Lord will destroy Death forever.

On this mountain,

the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples

a banquet of rich food.

On this mountain he will remove

the mourning veil covering all peoples,

and the shroud enwrapping all nations,

he will destroy Death forever.

The Lord will wipe away

the tears from every cheek,

he will take away his people’s shame

everywhere on earth,

for the Lord has said so.

That day, it will be said.  See, this is our God

in whom we hoped for salvation;

the Lord is the one in whom we hoped.

We exult and we rejoice

that he has saved us.

This is the word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm:  The Lord is my Shepherd (sung)

R:  The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;

there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures

where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me,

to revive my drooping spirit.      (R)  

He guides me along the right path;

he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness

no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;

with these you give me comfort.     (R)

You have prepared a banquet for me

in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;

my cup is overflowing.     (R)  

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me

all the days of my life.

In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell

for ever and ever.     (R)

Second Reading         Read by Geraldine Merryfield (Grand-Aunt)

A Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans 6:3-4, 8-9.

We believe that we shall return to life with Christ.

You have been taught that when we were baptised in Christ Jesus we were baptised in his death; in other words, when we were baptised we went into the tomb with him and joined him in death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the Father’s glory, we too might live a new life.

We believe that having died with Christ we shall return to life with him: Christ, as we know, having been raised from the dead will never die again. Death has no power over him any more.  

The word of the Lord.

Gospel Acclamation  (sung)

Alleluia Alleluia!

Blessed are you, Father,

Lord of heaven and of earth,

For revealing the mysteries of the kingdom

to children.



A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to Matthew        11:25-30

You have hidden these things from the clever, and have revealed them to mere children.

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

Homily           preached by Father Sean Casey, Parish Priest of Killoe

We are gathered here in Saint Mel’s Cathedral to celebrate the Funeral Mass for Thelma and Mikey Dennany.  We gather to thank God for the gift of their lives – lives so tragically cut short in the full bloom and promise of childhood.

We pray for the comfort and consolation of their grieving parents Michael and Lynn, and for their brother and sister Eddie and Katelyn all of whom are weighed down by sorrow.

We remember their heartbroken grandparents Mary and Herbert, their aunts, uncles, relatives and friends at this time of trauma and distress.

We have a special place in our hearts for Thelma and Mikey’s young friends in preschool in Rathowen, and in St. Cremin’s N.S. in Multyfarnham; and for the friends of Eddie and Katelyn, students in Wilsons Hospital school also in Multyfarnham.  Their teachers and staff had a unique relationship with Thelma and Mikey and with the older brother and sister.  They join with us this morning to express their sympathy and support to the grieving families.

Thelma and Mikey were vibrant children.  They were inseparable in life.  In the words of their Dad Michael – the only thing that separated them was school as they went their separate ways each morning. Thelma attended dancing classes and football training – Mikey always came to watch her training from the side-line.  On Saturday week last he ventured onto the pitch for the first time to join her in the sport she loved.  They loved to run and laugh and, feel the wind in their hair and to pick wild flowers.  They looked forward to trying out their fishing rods.  They are together now exploring the highways and byways of Heaven.

Thelma and Mikey will remain forever young in the hearts of their parents and brother and sister.  In quiet times they will sense their presence consoling them with memories of golden days in the past; and with the promise of togetherness in that place where there is no more pain or sorrow and where all tears are wiped away.  They are reunited now with their grandparents Austin and Thelma who have welcomed them with open arms.  Today we who remain trudge through the valley of darkness.  At some future time we hope to trip lightly through pastures fresh and green.

I had the privilege of baptising Thelma and Mikey – as their Dad so aptly put it:  “of bringing them into the Church”.  In baptism we enter into the death and resurrection of Christ.  We are immersed in the water of death with Christ, rising up out of the water to be wrapped in the white garment of the resurrection.  Thelma and Mikey shared in the life of the Risen Lord in this world; they now share with him in eternal glory.

The second reading speaks to us of Jesus’ love for little children.   He loves their sense of wonders and awe, their instinctive perception of His love for them.  Their innocence gives them a wisdom to discern “God with us” in a way that seems to dim in adult life when grow “learned and clever.”  The poet Francis Thompson puts it well:

“Tis ye, tis your estranged faces that miss the many splendoured thing.”

Today is the memorial of our Lady of Sorrows.  Our Lady knows the grief of a parent at the loss of her child.  She stood at the foot of the Cross as her son was dying, her own soul pierced with a sword of sorrow.  May she wrap Thelma and Mikey in her mantle of blue and comfort us who remain.  The voice of her divine son resonates in our hearts:

“Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.”

Prayers of the Intercession

Introduction:  Bishop Pat Storey

Let us pray for Thelma and Mikey; their family and friends and all God’s people.

  1. Read by Avril Egar (Aunt)

For Thelma a child of God and heir to the kingdom, that she be held securely in God’s loving embrace now and for all eternity.

We pray to the Lord.               Lord hear our prayer.

  1. Read by Roisín Dennany (Cousin)

For Mikey child of God and heir to the kingdom, that he be held securely in God’s loving embrace now and for all eternity.

We pray to the Lord.               Lord hear our prayer.

  1. Read by Joyce Dennany (Cousin)

For their family, especially for their mother and father, brother and sister, that they feel the healing power of Christ in the midst of their pain and grief.

We pray to the Lord.               Lord hear our prayer.

  1. Read by Carol Marshall (Aunt)

For Thelma and Mikey’s friends, who have played for them and those who have cared for them, that they be consoled in their loss and strengthened in their love for one another.

We pray to the Lord.               Lord hear our prayer.

  1. Read by Eddie (Thelma and Mikey’s Brother)

We pray for all our departed relatives, friends especially for Thelma and Mikey’s grandparents, Austin and Thelma and all their departed family members.  They have gone before us with the sign of faith, may they sleep in the peace of Christ.

We pray to the Lord.               Lord hear our prayer.

Conclusion:  Bishop Pat Storey

Lord God we entrust Thelma and Mikey in your care.

And now you embrace them in your love.

Take Thelma and Mikey into your keeping

together with all children who have died.

Comfort us, your sorrowing servants,

who seek to do your will

and to know your saving peace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen

Offertory   In Bread We Bring You Lord (sung)

Gifts brought forward by Katelyn (Thelma and Mikey’s Sister) & Keith Dennany (Cousin)

Holy, Holy Acclamation of Faith  (all sung)

Communion Hymns:    You Raise Me Up.     The Power of Love.   Voice of an Angel.

Address by Father Tom Healy, Diocesan Administrator for Ardagh and Clonmacnois

On behalf of the people and priests of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois I wish to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Mikey and Thelma on the tragic loss of their young lives.

We are deeply saddened at the death of these two young beautiful children.

The photographs of their smiling faces speak to us of two bundles of joy who were loved and cherished and who no doubt filled the lives of their families and friends with vibrancy and joy.

We know that your loss is very deep.

We ask God to shed his light upon this time of darkness and to give you comfort, hope and strength to face the future.

Prayer of Commendation

Recessional hymn   Somewhere over the Rainbow.


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678

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