Rev. Fr. Michael A. O' Quigley
Singer / Producer / Missionary
A sensitive soul: this priest portrayed his musical talents at school performances. He loved his game of golf, because his style was rather unorthodox it provided some merriment. Indeed the ‘Quig’, as he was affectionately known, was always associated in people’s mind with fun.
Michael A. O’ Quigley was born on July 12th, 1916 in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Following his national school education, he attended St Jarlath’s College in Tuam, Co. Galway. He studied there for two years of secondary education prior to his entrance at Blackrock College in Co. Dublin during 1932.
During 1934 Michael O’ Quigley joined the Novitiate at Kilshane, Co. Tipparary. He perfected at Blackrock College following his Profession from 1936 to 1938. He attained his B. A. during 1941. Two years later he was Ordained.
Fr. O’ Quigley’s first appointment was to Sierra Leone at St. Anthony’s Church in Assensiontown near to Freetown. During his spare time, he acted as Choirmaster at St. Anthony’s. He acted as Headmaster of the local Primary school plus was Secretary to the Bishop Dr. Ambrose Kelly, one of his duties included time as a Chaplin to prisoners in Freetown.
During 1950 Fr. O’ Quigley studied for his H Dip in Education at St. Michael’s College at Ailesbury Road in Dublin. Along with Fr. Turlough O ‘Brien they drew up a comprehensive programme for the Junior School, but both were posted elsewhere at the end of the year.
For seven years Fr. O’ Quigley taught at Rockwell College. He used his many talents as he produced the College operas. He also funded and conducted an orchestra among the college students. His teaching of Flotow’s ‘Martha’ broke new ground when it was successfully produced at the College. His mellifluous rendering of the special Ninth Lectio during Tenebrae was often celebrated.
During 1958 Fr. O ‘Quigley returned to Blackrock where he joined the teaching staff of Willow Park. His exploits were recalled that in the senior scholasticate ‘his hilarious rendering of the Robin in Aristophane’s Birds’. It was thought that he imitated one of the professorial staff. Plus, one morning: as the multitude of scholastics were standing in serried ranks for ‘meditation’ a cockroach crawled up the aisle only to be squashed by the boot of J. H. Ryan: the poor ever-sensitive Quig was so shocked that he collapsed, then he had to be carried out!
Unfortunately, during 1965 Fr o ‘Quigley suffered a serious stroke which left one side paralyzed. He recovered over a long period at a rehabilitation clinic, in that he managed to drag himself around with the aid of a stick. He still was often the centre of a social gathering.
His demise occurred suddenly when he was just age fifty – seven while he stayed with relatives during the summer holidays on July 4th, 1973. He is interred in Kimmage in Dublin.