Limerick based curate Fr Joe O’Brien was shocked to hear today that he is not considered to be ‘one of the lads.’
The revelation occurred when Fr Joe sat alone in his local pub waiting for ‘the lads’ to join him.
“I overheard two visitors up from Cork talking about me and as I was in civvies they didn’t realise it was me.” The guitar playing, under-fifteen football coach told us.
“To be honest I was a bit annoyed. I mean, I know how the lads appreciate meeting up with me for a few pints after work.
“Yes, I realise as a priest I have never been married and I don’t have to worry about a mortgage or the cost of keeping the car on the road or housework. But in fairness, the lads do enjoy my advice on those kinds of things.”
Joe the Man
Fr Joe — who prefers to be called Joe the Man — first came to Limerick five years ago. As a young priest straight out of the seminary he quickly involved himself in the parish.
“Some of my classmates specialised in the ‘looking after the old women’ ministry but I felt that the Father Trendy, one of the lads type of priests was more my calling.”
An expert at telling clean jokes, Father Joe also trains the under-age side in the local football club. He not only runs the parish youth-club but also organises the Thirty Something’s Singles trip to Medjugorje each year.
The Lads can get Embarrassed
“I normally join the lads for a few pints every night,” he continued. “I don’t drink myself but I just drop in and even just sitting there with a glass of orange it’s amazing the help I can be.
Some of the lads are embarrassed to ask marital questions or they might have some sort of financial worries so I normally just steer the conversation in that direction.
And of course, the whole abortion debate was where I could really shine.
“No, I have to say, the lads really enjoy my company — but it is funny how they all have to leave as I arrive.”
Fr Joe went on to tell us about the Thirty Something’s Singles Club he set up.
“I felt that the parish needed a place where young men and young women could meet.
So far it’s been a great success. We nearly had a full table at the last quiz night and next week we hope to have another member join us. That should bring the attendance up to four!
The Bright Lights of Knock
Unfortunately, the Medjugorje trip had to be cancelled. But that was solely due to St Mary’s having their trip to Knock on the same weekend. Who can compete with the bright lights of Knock?” he asked.
While disappointed at not being considered ‘one of the lads’ Fr Joe told us “it just means I need to try harder. Perhaps learn a few more folksongs?”
A spokesperson for Limerick’s Bishop was unavailable for comment.