The Chairman of the Council for the West, Declan O’Callaghan has paid tribute to the late Bishop of Elphin, Christopher Jones, whose funeral Mass takes place this afternoon at 1.30pm in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo .
The late Bishop Jones was a founder member of the Council for the West, an independent, non-profit organisation ,established in 1994 to combat the decline in population and services in rural areas of the West of Ireland.
Mr O’Calllaghan says that together with his fellow Bishops, Bishop Jones was instrumental in the Developing the West Together initiative which led to the establishment of both the Western Development Partnership Board and the voluntary Council forthe West, in 1994.
Bishop Jones was also at the forefront of the Council for the West’s role in retaining full Objective 1 Status forthe BMW region in 1997, meeting with Government Ministers, Western Oireachtas members, Regional Authorities, County Councils, the EU Commission and others.
Mr O’Callaghan describes the late Bishop as a man of deep Christian conviction who was modest, warm and dedicated to the people he served throughout his life. He was a passionate advocate for developing and sustaining community life west of the Shannon.
After Mass this afternoon, the late Bishop will be laid to rest in the Cathedral grounds.