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Canon Tom McGonigle of Donegal: Minister a respected man of integrity

Canon Tom McGonigle, who died recently, was a well-known Church of Ireland cleric who served for significant periods of his ministry in Portadown and Magherafelt.

Thomas McGonigle was born in 1922 in Donegal and was the youngest of a family of six. He was educated at the local national school and then at the Prior School, both in Lifford.

Following his vocation, he was initially a curate at Drumglass in Dungannon, then spent several years as rector in Clogherny and later in Magherafelt.

In 1961 he became incumbent in St Mark's Portadown, where – during the early part of the Troubles – he helped to found the Portadown-based Churches Together Movement.

In 1974 he returned to Magherafelt as rector and remained there until his retirement in 1988.

Canon McGonigle was a former member of the General Synod, the Armagh Clerical Union and the Cookstown Clergy Fraternity and a former secretary of the NI Retired Clergy Association.

He made a point of visiting his parishioners regularly and placed great importance on the training of curates.

Paying tribute at a well-attended funeral in Seagoe Parish Church in Portadown, Lord Eames, the former Archbishop of Armagh and Church of Ireland Primate, described him as "a greatly respected family man of Donegal and a priest of integrity and influence".

Canon McGonigle is survived by his wife Doreen, son Alan, daughter Ruth and by his wider family and friends.

Belfast Telegraph