The death has taken place of An tAthair Padraig O’Maille a native of Doughmakeon, Louisburgh, county Mayo.
Fr Pat, a missionary priest with the Kiltegan Order, had retired last year as Ireland’s Honorary Consul to Malawi. A position accorded him in recognition of his contribution to the establishment of multi party democracy in the African state that saw the ousting of the country’s Dictator President Hastings Banda back in 1994.
Aged 86, Fr Pat passed away yesterday (Sunday) in Naas Hospital. He was a priest, a missionary, an academic, an author both “as Gaeilge” and in English and he was a hero in the land locked African state of Malawi, where he was a lecturer and extensively assisted prisoners under the corrupt regime of Dr Hastings Banda who ruled the country for almost 30 years.
Fr Pat was ordained to the priesthood in 1957 and taught in Nigeria until the outbreak of the Biafran war when he was deported from that country.
He then spent some time in Ireland working with the Irish Language Civil Rights Movement and in 1970 returned to the missions, this time to Malawi, where he lectured in English but became central to the country’s struggle for democracy.
Midwest Radio broadcast a documentary on An tAthair Padraig’s work in 2008 – entitled Deportee to Honorary Consul.