Tribute paid to inspirational Dean

Dean Griffin (front left) with Archdeacon Samuel Simpson, Bishop Ken Good and Canon Walter Quill at a lunch for retired clergy at the See House last June.
Dean Griffin (front left) with Archdeacon Samuel Simpson, Bishop Ken Good and Canon Walter Quill at a lunch for retired clergy at the See House last June.

The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, has paid tribute to the Very Revd Victor Griffin, former Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, who died at his home in Limavady in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

“It was with considerable sadness that I learned of the death of Dean Griffin on Wednesday.

Canon Paul Willoughby (second form left) with from left, the Very Reverend Victor Stacey (Dean of St Patricks), the Very Reverend Victor Griffin (former Dean of St Patricks) and Canon Bob Reed (Precentor of St Patricks) in St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin

Canon Paul Willoughby (second form left) with from left, the Very Reverend Victor Stacey (Dean of St Patricks), the Very Reverend Victor Griffin (former Dean of St Patricks) and Canon Bob Reed (Precentor of St Patricks) in St Patricks Cathedral, Dublin

“As a Curate and Rector here in the Diocese of Derry and then as Dean of the National Cathedral in Dublin, he proved to be a formidable and inspirational churchman.

“Dean Griffin was a man of great faith and humanity. Displaying a willingness to speak prophetically and courageously, he was fearless in answering God’s call. And yet, to those who knew him, he had a pastoral and sensitive heart. He will be greatly missed.”

“I extend my deepest condolences to Dean Griffin’s son, Kevin, to the wider family circle and to his many friends.”

Dean Griffin served for many years in Derry, from his ordination in 1948 through to 1969, both in St Augustine’s Church, and as rector in Christ Church.

After he retired as Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1991 he returned to the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe, to his home in Limavady.

William Morton, the current Dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral who took up the post from his position as Dean of Derry, described Dean Griffin “as the most faithful and dedicated priest of the cathedral”.

He added: “Dean Griffin was a man who spoke fearlessly with the strongest Christian conviction to a more inclusive and pluralist society, both north and south of the border.”

The leader of the Catholic Church in the Derry Diocese, Bishop Donal McKeown, offered his condolences on behalf of the Catholic community. He said Dean Griffin was remarkable for his commitment to justice and peace.

Bishop McKeown added: “I extend my deepest condolences to Dean Griffin’s son Kevin, to the wider family circle and to his many friends.

“Dean Griffin was committed to justice and peace issues. “This was shown both globally in his opposition to apartheid in South Africa and locally in his work for peace on the island of Ireland. “Through his death, Ireland has lost a faithful Christian minister.”