Nenagh Town Council has been urged to consider honouring the late Fr Alec Reid by naming the new town park after the Nenagh native. Fr Reid, who hailed from Summerhill, died last Friday, and is credited with playing a huge role in the North’s peace process.
The call to name the park being built beside Nenagh Leisure Centre after Fr Reid was made by Cllr Seamus Morris, who described Fr Reid as having “lived the Troubles”.
He said that what we knew of Fr Reid’s life was only the “tip of the ice-berg. He was heavily involved in trying to sort out the first hunger strike, but he was also involved with the small things. If a fire engine was hijacked in south Armagh, he was called in.”
Cllr Morris said the people had put their trust in Fr Reid, but that had also placed a lot of pressure on him.
Fr Reid was described by Cllr Conor Delaney as a “beacon of hope in a time of darkness”. He called for a plaque to be erected in the town for the “whole world to know what he was responsible for. He was the chief instigator in getting the ball rolling for the peace process.”
Cllr Virginia O’Dowd, who as Mayor gave Fr Reid a civic reception in 2008, said the late priest was “so proud to be of our own. He said that night that he had received awards all over the world, but the reception he received here was the most important and would help him with his future work.”
She recalled that Fr Reid’s sisters, maura and Margaret, were pleased that he had been honoured by the council.
She couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of a plaque in his honour, saying: “In the Bible it states Blessed are the Peacemakers. He was the peacemaker.”
Mayor Jimmy Moran recalled meeting Fr Reid on a few occasions and said he was “one powerful man”.
Town manager Marcus O’Connor said Fr Reid’s death was a “sad day for Nenagh” and they should be proud to have someone from the town with such a national and international profile.