Fr. Tom's Silver Jubilee

Published on December 17, 2009

Thomas Flannan Ryan
Silver Jubilee of Ordination 1984 – 2009


Ordained 9th June 1984

Thomas Flannan Ryan was born on 15th December 1960 to Michael and Mary Ryan of 20 St. Michael’s Villas, Ennis, Co. Clare. He has two brothers Eugene and Michael and sister Nuala and Geralyn. Most of Young Tom’s early centered around the Church in his home town of Ennis. He became an Alter server at the age of 10 in Ennis Cathedral and continued of faithfully and diligently as server until the age of 16. Even at this early age, it was obvious that young Tom knew the path he wanted to go!

He was educated in Convent of Mercy, CBS, Ennis and Rice College before going to study in St. Patrick’s College, Thurles. He was ordained as a Deacon on Easter Monday in 1983 and he officiated at the marriage of his first cousin Mary Ryan on the very same day. He also worked as a Deacon in London under the Irish Chaplaincy Scheme. On the 9th June 1984, in the company of his mother and family, he was ordained in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, along with Michael Leonard, Killaloe Diocese, John Buckley of the Kerry Diocese, Noel Kirwan of the Limerick Diocese and Martin Keane and Thomas Marrinan, both of the Galway Diocese.

After Ordination, he was posted temporarily to St. John’s Parish, Coleraine, for the Summer of 1984 and from there to St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry, where he spent three of the happiest year of his life and where he was affectionately known as “The man from Clare”. The esteem to which he was held is still evident in the many friends who still maintain contact with him from “the town he loves so well”! In 1987, he came closer to home and the very young and energetic curate was appointed to the Parish of Kilmurray/Ibricken serving Quilty, Coore and Mullagh and was also Chaplain to St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Spanish Point. From there, he branched out further into Co. Clare and in 1992, was posted to Shannon where he served as Curate until he replaced Canon Brendan O’Donoghue as Parish Priest in 2002.

Fr. Tom has a long list of achievements to his name: he is responsible for the hugely successful Matt TaIbot Novena which this year sees its 16th anniversary in Shannon. Each October, it runs for 9 weeks in Shannon as well as Kilrush, bringing together people from 9 different Parishes in West Clare. Fr. Tom is the author of a Book of Prayers and Reflection inspired by Venerable Matt Talbot called “Comfort My People”, which was published in 2007. Other activities include Spiritual Director to the Bereavement Support Group and Shannon Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for the last 17 years, Chaplain to St. Conaire’s and St. Senan’s Primary Schools, Board of Management of St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School and facilitator to Rainbows Programme. He is responsible for setting up a Diocesan Mission Team in 2006 – and with Fr. Brendan Quinlivan conducted a number of very successful parish missions in the Diocese. He has regular input into Franciscan ministry in his beloved Ennis, and in 2007 was responsible for the erection of St. Anthony’s shrine in Mary Immaculate Church and introduced the weekly Tuesday Novena there. He is the driving force behind the children’s liturgy in Shannon since 1997 in both Churches. 2005 saw another goal achieved by him when Shannon Parish Office opened its doors. He was responsible for the erection of Pope John Paul II Garden, beside SS John & Paul Church, which coincided with the Silver Jubilee of the Church in 2005. This year sees another ambition realised when the new Oratory opens its doors at Skycourt Shopping Centre. He was Director to The Holy Land Pilgrimage in 2008, the Diocesan Pilgrimage to the Holy Land since 1999. His great love for Lourdes is evident in the enormous amount of work he puts into both the summer and Autumn Pilgrimages each year. He has been the Diocesan Youth Leader since 1999 and in 2008 when Canon Brendan retired, Bishop Willie appointed him Pilgrimage Director. The list of achievements goes on and … and on and on…


Celebration Mass 3rd June at SS John & Paul Church, Shannon


Mgr. Ken McCaffrey, Scotland, delivering the Homily



A packed SS John & Paul Church




Fr Tom with Father Michael Leonard, John Buckley,
Noel Kirwan, Martin Keane and Thomas Marrinan

As we celebrate with Fr. Tom and his family, we are especially proud that 17 years of the past 25 have been spent with us here in Shannon. We thank God for his wonderful achievements over a quarter century of Priesthood and for his generosity, enthusiasm, hard work and prayerful example. We look back in grateful appreciation of God’s gifts to through Fr. Tom…and pray forward…

Ad Multos Annos.