Loved priest takes leave of absence over health

Prayers said for Fr Matt

By Ciara Quinn

TURF Lodge and the wider West Belfast community have been sending messages of support and prayers to Fr Matt Wallace after the much-loved Parish Priest fell ill.

Fr Matt recently spoke to the Bishop of Down and Connor, Noel Treanor, to inform him of his decision to take a temporary leave of absence from the Holy Trinity Parish.

Dearly loved by many for his dedication to the parishes he has served during his long service in West Belfast, Fr Matt made the headlines back in 2003 when he bravely tried to prevent a burglary at St Martin’s Nursery School. Fr Matt was stabbed in the nose with a screwdriver as he seized the burglar who was reported to be high on drugs.

One  parishioner wished the Wexford-born priest a speedy recovery.

“I think I speak for everyone in the parish when I say that he is Holy Trinity and he is Turf Lodge, he has been here for over ten years and has given so much to the community.

“He is such a selfless priest and a fantastic person who always has time for the young people in the area and was always a keen advocate of our young boxers. He is really missed at Mass and in our community and we wish him all the best in getting better.”

A spokesperson for the Down and Connor Diocese said: “On August 24, Fr Matt Wallace took temporary leave of absence from Holy Trinity parish due to ill health. In his absence, Fr Brendan Mulhall CSsR has been appointed as parochial administrator. Along with parishioners and his colleague priests of the Diocese, we assure him of our concern and prayers on the road to the recovery of his health.”

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