Details are emerging of the funeral arrangements for Fr Jack Hackett, Ireland’s best loved priest. Sponsored by the Guinness Brewery and the Bushmills distillery, the Requiem Mass in Armagh’s St Patrick’s Cathedral will be preceded by a procession through the town led by massed pipe bands, the Michael Flatley dancers and a float representing Craggy Island, complete with real sheep and Mrs Doyle dressed as Molly Malone. It will be followed by an armed detachment of the Garda and lawyers representing the Ryan Commission. The rear will be brought up by a phalanx of seminarians from St Patrick’s College, Maynooth bearing bottles of stout and waving shamrocks.
The Mass itself will be concelebrated by Frs Ted Crilly and Dougal McGuire (who will be celebrating the first anniversary of their civil partnership on the same day). The homilist will be Cardinal Murphy O’Connor, whose close friendship with Fr Jack since their seminary days was tactfully omitted from his recent autobiography.