05 Oct 2022

Shock at sudden death of Offaly Archdeacon


The late Archdeacon Wayne Carney

BIRR town and the wider Church of Ireland community were plunged into grief this week after the death of the Venerable Wayne Carney, the Archdeacon of Killaloe and Rector of Birr.

Described as “a good and loyal friend, a true pastor and an able and caring Archdeacon” by the Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert, Kenneth Kearon, Archdeacon Carney died after suffering a heart attack at his home on Monday last (August 10).

“It’s impossible to describe the shock and sadness we all feel at Wayne’s sudden passing. He was a good and loyal friend, a true pastor and an able and caring Archdeacon and will be greatly missed by the church communities in Birr and beyond where his ecumenical commitment and community engagement was well known”, Bishop Kearon said
“He served his diocese in many roles and was widely known and respected throughout the church and in wider society. Please do pray for his wife Norma-Jean, their daughter Kathleen and son Brian and their families, and Wayne’s wider family at this sad time.

“May he rest in peace”, Bishop Kearon said.

Archdeacon Carney was born and grew up in Southwestern Ontario in Canada and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto, before teaching in a primary school in Toronto for 8 years.

He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity College Dublin in 1984 and was ordained a Deacon in 1984 and a Priest in 1985. He served as Curate, Rector, and Associate Priest in Diocese of Toronto from 1984 to 1995 and became Rector of the Clonfert Group of Parishes in 1995 and served until 2003.

He was appointed Archdeacon of Killaloe in 2002 and was installed as Rector of Birr in 2003 and was a member of the Chapter of St Patrick’s Cathedral since 2012.

He married Norma-Jean in 1973 and they had two children; Kathleen, who is married and living in France and has two children and son Brian, who is married and living in Canada and also has two children.

Before becoming a member of the clergy he was passionate about his career as a teacher, which he worked as for over ten years and was also a keen cook and reader.

“He was a gentleman to his fingertips and was a close friend of mine since I first came to Birr – we shared so much over the years and Norma-Jean and the family are dear friends”, Fr Tom Hogan P.P. in Birr told the Tribune.

“He was always lovely company and had the great gift of making you feel at ease in his presence. There was never any formalities or airs-and-graces and I feel so sorry for his family after his unexpected loss.

“He was a man who still had so much to give”, Fr Hogan said.

Retired Rev. Janet Whyte Spunner, who is a close friend and was with the family on Monday last when Archdeacon Carney suffered a fatal heart attack, described him as a “wonderful and true friend who had a brilliant mind”.

“He wasn't a total academic and was very easy to talk with on any topic. He was a very good and decent man who was very dedicated”, she told this newspaper.

The Dean of Killaloe, Very Revd Rod Smyth, is working with the family on the funeral arrangements.

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