West Sligo is in shock following the tragic death of popular priest Fr. Muredach Tuffy. A native of Castleconnor Fr. Tuffy was found dead in The Newman Institute in Ballina on Tuesday. Aged 39, he was the director of the institute. Fr. Tuffy had officiated at a funeral of a young woman in Rathduff, near Ballina on Saturday. And on Sunday he attended a wedding in his native Castleconnor church and the reception afterwards in Enniscrone.
The eldest of a family of five, he was the son of Muredach and Eileen Tuffy. A neighbour said that as a young man the late Muredach was happiest when he was helping on the family farm. The neighbour said: “All in West Sligo are devastated, we cannot understand why this has happened. He was a very popular young man. Many in the parish of Castleconnor had hoped that at some stage he would return to serve as a priest here”. Fr. Tuffy was ordained in Castleconnor in 1999. He studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he obtained B.A. (Hons) and B.D. (Hons) degrees. He also completed his S.T.L. there as a post-graduate in 2000. Before going to Maynooth, he studied medicine at UCG. He was appointed director of The Newman Institute in 2003 and played a key role in the development and completion of the new building project which opened in April of 2009.
In 2011 he was appointed as assistant priest in the parish of Kilmoremoy (Ballina). He was also the Diocesan Director of Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, Diocesan Vocations Director, and Diocesan Communications Officer, and a member of the Diocesan Liturgy and Music Commission. A spokesman for Castleconnor GAA club – with whom Fr. Tuffy’s brother John plays – said the community was shocked. “The devastating news of the death of Fr. Muredach Tuffy has stunned the parish and has left a dark cloud hanging over our tight knit community. Muredach was such a popular young man across the region and Diocese of Killala”. A Fr. Muiredach Tuffy Memorial page has been set up on facebook. Typical of the many tributes on it is the following: “God blessed you for a reason and you passed on his blessing to many while you were here. A true gent and someone who never judged anyone regardless of their lifestyle. You will always be an inspiration RIP”. Funeral took place from McGowan’s Funeral Home, Ballina on Thursday last, with removal to St. Joseph’s Church, Castleconnor. Requiem Mass took place on Friday morning last at with funeral proceeding to Killanley cemetery, Castleconnor.