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.