Thursday, December 30, 2010

Msgr Horan stamp: driving force behind Knock airport to be honoured

A COMMEMORATIVE stamp is to be issued next year honouring Msgr James Horan in the centenary year of his birth.

An Post has confirmed the honour for the priest, who died in 1986 and whose greatest achievement was the construction of Knock airport in the face of bitter political opposition in the 1980s.

In the 1960s, he built a basilica at Knock as part of his programme to improve facilities there for pilgrims and parishioners.

As a curate, the young Fr Horan had been credited with bringing rural electrification to the Aughamore area as well as pioneering projects in other districts such as group water, afforestation, road works, drainage and a dance hall in Tooreen.

According to Minister of State for Labour Affairs Dara Calleary: “The issuing of a stamp will be a fitting tribute to a man who showed true character and sheer determination in achieving his many goals for Co Mayo and the west of Ireland.”

The last Mayo person to be honoured with a commemorative stamp issue was Michael Davitt, founder of the Land League.