We were all saddened at the sudden and unexpected death of former Bishop James McLoughlin on Friday 25 th November 2005 at the The Galway Clinic.
Bishop James was a very humble man with a beautiful countenance. When he smiled, you smiled back. We all have memories and photos of our children’s confirmation. He spoke to the children. He made them laugh. He put them at ease. He presented each child with rosary beads and I can still remember his light hearted chats with the children. In his opinion, people taking the pledge should keep their certificate on their bedroom wall alongside their movie and music stars. He loved the youth.
Such a shame his time with us was all so short. I met him two weeks prior to his untimely death and I remember thinking how spritely he was and again that endearing smile!
Bishop James McLoughlin was born on the 9th April 1929 at Cross Street, where his parents the late Patrick McLoughlin and Winifred McLoughlin (nee McDermott) ran a small wholesale grocery business. He was the eldest of three brothers.
He received his primary education at the Patrician Brothers School in Nun’s Island and from there he went to St. Mary’s College, Galway. He studied for the priesthood at Maynooth and was ordained on the 20th June 1954. From 1954 he taught at St. Mary’s College, Galway where he developed a keen interest in basketball and amateur dramatics. He was appointed Diocesan Secretary in September 1965. He served in this post under Bishop Michael Browne and Bishop Eamon Casey until his appointment as Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish in 1983.
His appointment as Bishop of Galway was announced by Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, 19th February 1993 and he was ordained Bishop on Sunday 28th March 1993. Bishop McLoughlin retired as Bishop of Galway and Apostolic Administrator of Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora on Sunday 3rd July 2005.
Bishop McLoughlin was a member of the Department of Planning and Communictions and Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of the Irish Bishop’s Conference.
Bishop McLoughlin is survived by his two brothers Fr. Aidan McLoughlin and Dermot McLoughlin (Galway), and by his sister-in-law Joan McLoughlin, nieces and a nephew.