Nishop Terry and Canon Dan Spaight in Lourdes – Photo by Lyndsey McGeary
Oct, 2023
Bishop leads tributes to Canon Dan

Everyone at the Diocese of Middlesbrough has been saddened to hear of the death of Canon Dan Spaight in his native Ireland.
Canon Dan, who passed away just four days before his 88th birthday, was a much loved and respected priest who served the diocese for 50 years.
Born on October 18 1934 in the village of Cratloe, County Clare, Daniel Joseph Spaight attended seminary at St Patrick’s, Thurles, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 14 1959, at Thurles Cathedral.
He was appointed assistant priest at St Francis of Assisi in Middlesbrough and in 1960 he moved to St Philomena’s, Middlesbrough (now the Sacred Heart) as assistant priest from 1960 to 1967.
He served as assistant priest at St Thomas More, Middlesbrough, from 1967 to 1977, when he was appointed parish priest at Sacred Heart in Hull, where he stayed until 1989.
He was also director of the Diocese of Middlesbrough Pilgrimage to Lourdes from 1981 to 2000.
In 1989, he became parish priest at Christ the King Church in Thornaby, and in 1987 he became a member of the cathedral chapter and given the title of canon.

Canon Dan Spaight
Canon Dan Spaight

Canon Dan continued his ministry after retiring to Ennis in 2010, celebrating a fortnightly Mass at the historic Barn Church in Oatfield for over 11 years, until 2022.
Speaking to the Clare Champion newspaper after his final Mass at the chapel, Canon Spaight said he was one of 437 priests ordained across Ireland in 1959.
Known for his kindness and gentle nature, he also had a great sense of humour.
He often entertained Lourdes pilgrims by playing tunes on the mouth organ, and he was a member of the Chancey Brothers clergy band, who performed at shows including Rocking in the Aisles at Middlesbrough Theatre.
In 2009, Bishop Terry and 35 priests from across the diocese joined Canon Dan at Christ the King to celebrate the golden jubilee of his priestly ordination.
Among the celebrants were his two co-jubilarians, Father Sean O’Donnell and Father Michael White, who have since passed away. The service also remembered the late Father Joe McDonagh, who was ordained with them.
In his homily, Monsignor Gerard Dasey, who was Canon Dan’s assistant at Christ the King, drew together the readings of the Mass and highlights from Canon Dan’s ministry, interspersed with amusing stories about their time together in Thornaby.
Canon Dan’s sister and her family were present and his niece sang a song of thanksgiving in Gaelic after Holy Communion.

Sister Mary Condron, Bishop Terry and Canon Dan Spaight
Sister Mary Condron, Bishop Terry and Canon Dan Spaight

Bishop Terry presented him with a papal blessing and thanked him for his service.
Canon Dan passed away peacefully in the care of the staff at Carrigoran House, Newmarket on Fergus, on Saturday (October 14).
He was predeceased by his parents, James and Norah, his brother, John, and sisters, Carmel and Joan.
Bishop Terry has sent a message to Canon Dan’s family, saying: “Canon Dan was a kind and generous man with a huge pastoral heart. He always had time for you, and you never left his company without an encouraging word.
“He had a great sense of humour, and a smile and laughter were never far from his face. However, there was a calmness about him that was quite infectious.
“He worked tirelessly in the Diocese of Middlesbrough, caring for the people of his various parishes.
“I would want to thank Canon Dan’s family for the gift of his ministry over the many years and may the Lord reward him as only he knows how and may his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.”
A funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral of SS Peter and Pauls, Ennis, on Wednesday (October 18) at 3pm, followed by burial in Ballysheen Cemetery, Sixmilebridge.
Father Pat Bluett will represent the Diocese of Middlesbrough at the funeral.
Bishop Terry will celebrate a month’s mind Mass of Thanksgiving for Canon Dan at Christ the King Church, Thornaby, on Tuesday November 14 at 7pm (details to be confirmed).
The service will be livestreamed here.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for him.
St Bernadette, pray for him.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This