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Tributes flow in for 'inspirational' former Derry Dean Victor Griffin

By Donna Deeney

Published 13/01/2017

‘Formidable’: Victor Griffin
‘Formidable’: Victor Griffin

Tributes have been paid to the former Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, the Very Reverend Victor Griffin, who has passed away at his home in Limavady.

Dean Griffin was hailed by Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Ken Good.

He said: "It was with considerable sadness that I have learned of the death of Dean Griffin.

"As a curate and rector here in the Diocese of Derry and then as Dean of the National Cathedral in Dublin, he proved to be a formidable and inspirational churchman.

"Dean Griffin was a man of great faith and humanity.

"Displaying a willingness to speak prophetically and courageously, he was fearless in answering God's call.

"And yet, to those who knew him, he had a pastoral and sensitive heart. He will be greatly missed."

Dean Griffin served for many years in Derry, from his ordination in 1948 through to 1969, both in St Augustine's Church, and as rector in Christ Church.

After he retired as Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in 1991 he returned to the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe, to his home in Limavady.

His remains will be removed to Christ Church, Limavady, at 4pm this Sunday.

The funeral service will take place at 11am on Monday followed by cremation at Roselawn.

The leader of the Catholic Church in the Derry Diocese, Bishop Donal McKeown, offered his condolences on behalf of the Catholic community.

He said Dean Griffin was remarkable for his commitment to justice and peace.

Bishop McKeown added: "I extend my deepest condolences to Dean Griffin's son Kevin, to the wider family circle and to his many friends.

"I express, on behalf of the Catholic community in the Diocese of Derry, deep sympathy to the Church of Ireland community of the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe as well as the wider Church of Ireland family, on the death of Very Reverend Dean Victor Griffin.

"Dean Griffin was committed to justice and peace issues.

"This was shown both globally in his opposition to apartheid in South Africa and locally in his work for peace on the island of Ireland.

"Through his death, Ireland has lost a faithful Christian minister."

William Morton, the current Dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral who took up the post from his position as Dean of Derry, described Dean Griffin "as the most faithful and dedicated priest of the cathedral".

He added: "Dean Griffin was a man who spoke fearlessly with the strongest Christian conviction to a more inclusive and pluralist society, both north and south of the border."

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