Catholic Church Kilsyth

Father Edward Blake

Edward Blake was born on the 29th Jan 1876 in Ballincurry, Ballingarry, County Tipperarey, Ireland. He was educated at St Patrick's College Thurles which he entered in September 1894 and he was ordained a Priest there on 22nd June 1902 for the Cashel Archdiosese.

Fr Blake was then sent on loan to the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in Scotland where he was to serve for 13 years before returning to his native Ireland. He was appointed as assistant Priest in the Parish of The Sacred Herat in Penicuik in Midlothian for a year from 1902 to 1903.

From Penicuik he came here to St Patrick's in Kilsyth where he was to serve again as assistant Priest. He was only the second recorded assistant Priest in Kilsyth and the first for 18 years since the departure of the previous assistant Priest, Fr John M Murphy in 1885. He arrived in Kilsyth at the same time as Canon Patrick Macnamara (later Monsignor Macnamara) with whom Fr Blake had already served as assistant Priest for a year in Penicuik. It is recorded that Monsignor Macnamara had intermittant poor health and it may have been the case that it was necessary to have an assistant priest in Kilsyth to give him support in the running of what was rapidly becoming a very large parish of several thousand Catholics. Fr Blake's posting to Kilsyth is significant because it started a tradition of having an assistant Priest as well as a Parish Priest in Kilsyth which lasted from his arrival in 1903 and was continious until the departure of Fr Chris Heenan in 1998 a period of 95 years.

Fr Blake was to stay at St Patrick's Kilsyth for a period of 12 years before returning back to the Archdiocese of Cashel in Ireland in 1915.

Upon his return to Ireland in 1915 he was posted as assistant Priest to Ballybriken, County Limerick where he stayed until 1917. He then moved again as assistant Priest to Pallasgrean in County Limerick for 2 years from 1917 till 1919. His last posting as an assistant Priest was a long posting to Boherlahan in County Tipperary which lasted 17 years from 1919 to 1936.

Fr Blake was then posted as Parish Priest to Ballinahinch in County Limerik in 1936 where he remained until his death on 28th January 1948. May he rest in peace.

Source: Irish Born Secular Priests in Scotland 1829 to 1979 by the Rev Bernard Canning. Our thanks also to Ailish Larkin, Librarian of St. Patrick's College, Thurles, Co Tipperary Ireland for helping with our research.

God BlessYou!