Liam Leader, B.A., B.D., H. Dip in Education.
Canon Liam Leader
was born in Glanmire, formally a rural area about 3 miles east of Cork
City, Glanmire is now contained in the Parish of Carraig na bhFear.
He was one of a family of seven and attributes his interest in priesthood
to a number of influences, referring to his parents as people
of deep faith, with great respect for the Church and for the Mass.'
After cycling to
secondary school in the North Monastery and Farranferris, he began studies
for the priesthood at St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, in 1946, just
as the Second World ended..
Leader was ordained with a class of 58 young priests on June 21st 1953
in Maynooth, by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid. On his return to Cork,
Fr. Leader undertook further studies at UCC graduating with a H.Diploma
in Education, while teaching part-time in Farranferris and in the Vocational
Education system as a religion teacher.
In March 1957, he
was appointed chaplin to St. Patrick's Hospital, Cork, which is in St.
Patrick's Parish and is now best known for it's Marymount Hospice.
It was in the summer
of 1958 that Bishop Lucey directed Fr. Leader to go to Bantry, Co. Cork,
and start a new secondary school for boys, and to go that same
evening'. When Fr. Leader explained that he was due to hear confessions
in St. Patrick's that evening, the good Bishop replied, Well,
tomorrow will do so'
A site was found
in the grounds of the Mercy Convent, Bantry for a new school and a building
was erected. During the planning and construction stages of the school,
Fr. Leader started and conducted school studies with the help of local
people in the Boys Club Hall. Fr. Leader was principal of the school
for nineteen years when in 1997, he received his first full-time parochial
appointment as curate in Bandon, Co. Cork.
His first term was
as parish priest in the newly developing Knocknaheeny/Hollyhill estate
on the northern outskirts of Cork City, during the period 1984 to 1990.
Canon Leader transferred
to St. Patrick's parish in 1990 and will celebrate his Golden Jubilee
of Ordination with his parishioners and family on 21st. June 2003