The death has taken place of Canon JJ Cribben - parish priest of Milltown, Co Galway and a former Mayo footballer.

Fr JJ - a native of Ballyhaunis - passed away yesterday after battling illness for some time, and will be laid to rest tomorrow - 50 years to the day since he played with Mayo in Croke Park, beating Down to lift the National Football League title.

He was born in Ballyhaunis in June 1946 and later attended St Jarlath's College in Tuam.

He was ordained a priest of the Tuam Archdiocese in 1970, and worked first in St Jarlath's College, before serving as curate in Taugheen, Breaffy  Castlebar, and Athenry, and was subsequently appointed parish priest of Milltownin 1998, where administered until recently.

Fr JJ was an accomplished and talented footballer, playing with St Jarlath's College, his own club in Ballyhaunis and later as a county footballer at U-21, minor and senior level.

in 1967, he was part of the Mayo All-Ireland winning U-21 team, while in May 1970 - 50 years ago this weekend, he scored two goals and a point to help Mayo defeat Down in Croke Park by 4-7 to 10 points, to win the National Football League.

He also represented his club in the 1960's and 70's playing alongside his brothers Tony and the late Tom Short.

Many tributes have been paid to Canon JJ since news emerged of his death yesterday, with sympathies being extended from across the province to his family, friends and priest colleagues.

Fr JJ was pre-deceased by his parents Anthony and Mariah and his brother Tom.He's survived by his brother Tony, sister in law Anne, nephew, nieces, extended family and friends.

His funeral Mass will take place in St Patrick's Church, Ballyhaunis tomorrow ( Sunday) at 12 noon with burial afterwards in the local cemetery.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the funeral is private - for family only - and the Mass can be viewed on Ballyhaunis Parish webcam or listened to on parish radio.


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