Popular priest passes away after long illness

Fr Gregory Cormican.
Fr Gregory Cormican.

Mourners will gather at St Joseph’s Church in Glenavy on Wednesday (January 17) for the funeral of popular priest Fr Gregory Cormican.

The 61-year-old Glenavy man passed away on January 14 after a long battle with illness.

Born in May 1956, Gregory Cormican studied at St Malachy’s College, Belfast and later read theology at St Mary’s Pontifical Irish College, Rome. He went on to complete a BEd degree in Education at St Joseph’s College, Belfast and also undertook post-graduate studies in Spirituality in Rome.

Fr Cormican was ordained on March 31, 1981, and went on to serve in parishes all over Northern Ireland.

From 1981 - 1983 he served as chaplain at the Mater Hospital and was curate at St Patrick’s, Donegall Street, Belfast.

He then became curate of St Peter’s Cathedral Parish, Belfast until 1988 when he moved to north Belfast to become curate at Greencastle, Shore Road.

Fr Cormican also served as a curate in Downpatrick (1991 - 1994) before becoming Parish Priest of Ballyclare, based at Church of the Sacred Heart. He held that position from 1994 - 2003, during which time he also served as chaplain at Antrim Area Hospital.

From 2003 - 2009 he served as Parish Priest in Glenarm, and from 2009 - 2016 as Parish Priest in Coleraine.

He had to resign in January 2016 due to ill health.

A number of former parishioners took to the Belfast Catholic Events Facebook page to pay tribute to Fr Cormican.

One woman described him as “a true gentleman”, while another poster said he was a “gentleman and an inspiration”.

Requiem Mass will take place at St Joseph’s Church, Glenavy on Wednesday, January 17 at 1pm.