I am greatly saddened by the news of the death of our Bishop Emeritus, Laurence Forristal. He died peacefully this morning at Saint Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny. I offer my personal sympathies and prayers to his sisters, May, Kathleen and Nan, to his nieces and nephews, to all his extended family, to the priests, religious, friends, and to the many people whose lives he touched throughout his almost 63 years of priestly and episcopal ministry. I also express my gratitude and appreciation to all who cared for Bishop Forristal so well during his long illness. We ask the Lord to grant him eternal rest.
Bishop Forristal was very proud of his home parish of Thomastown, County Kilkenny, where he was born on 5 June 1931. He attended primary school in the Mercy Convent School and the Boys’ National School in Thomastown, and secondary school at Mount Saint Joseph College, Roscrea. He studied for the priesthood at Clonliffe College, Dublin, and studied philosophy at University College, Dublin. He pursued further studies at the Propaganda Fide College in Rome and was ordained there as a priest for the Archdiocese of Dublin on 21 December 1955.
He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin on 3 December 1979 and received Episcopal Ordination on 20 January 1980. The following year, he was appointed Bishop of Ossory and was installed on 13 September 1981 in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny.
Throughout his 63 years as priest and bishop, he worked tirelessly in the service of the people of God, in this diocese and further afield. On 21 December 2015, Bishop Forristal celebrated 60 years of dedicated service as a priest. Of those 60 years he served the faithful in our diocese for over 26 years as Bishop of Ossory.
I ask that the priests, religious and the faithful of the Diocese of Ossory and all those who knew Bishop Forristal to join with me in praying for the repose of the soul of this wise shepherd and faithful Son of the Church.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis.