Two people from Clogher Diocese area to attend Maundy Thursday service


Two people who have contributed significantly to their local communities over many years have been nominated by the Bishop of Clogher, the Right Revd Dr. Ian Ellis, to receive Maundy money from King Charles III.

Mrs Hilary Keys.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort will attend the traditional Maundy Thursday service in York Minster on 6 April 2023. During the service 74 men and 74 women, signifying the King’s age, will be presented with Maundy money.

This year, Mrs. Hilary Keys, a leading member of St. Macartan’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Clogher and Mr. Paddy Maguire, a member of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, Enniskillen, will be travelling to York for the service.

Bishop Ian Ellis stated that Hilary Keys has worked tirelessly within Clogher Parish in various roles from parish recorder, select vestry member, Mothers' Union branch treasurer and co-ordinator of the Grouped Parishes Knit, Stitch and Natter group as well as being a leading committee member of the local 'Cancer focus group' and a long-time member of the local Women’s Institute.

Hilary said the first she knew about her nomination was when she received a letter from Buckingham Palace.

“It took me a couple of days to get over the shock,” said Hilary, who is Rector’s Churchwarden at Clogher Cathedral.

Hilary, who was secretary of Clogher Primary School until its closure, said she has been involved in many aspects of church life, just recently stepping down as Recorder after almost 50 years. She is well known in the area as one of the founder members of the Knit, Stitch and Natter group, which meets twice a month in the Cathedral Hall to produce a range of garments and items from needlecraft.

The group became best known for producing the knitted model of Clogher Cathedral unveiled last summer and which is on display inside. That project took members two years to complete.

Hilary is now looking forward to travelling to York Minster with her daughter, Rachel for this historic occasion when it will be King Charles’ first time to distribute Maundy money as Sovereign. Hilary said she had visited York Minster previously on a trip but never dreamed of being invited back to this service.

Bishop Ian Ellis also nominated Paddy Maguire, who has been involved in education circles for many years having served as a vice-principal and now for at least eight years as chair of a local Board of Governors. He has also written and published a book recently on his classmates from school days.

Paddy Maguire, who lives close to Enniskillen and is a member of St. Michael’s Parish, said he appreciated the significance of the cross-community aspect of his nomination.

Mr. Paddy Maguire.

“It was a big surprise and something I would never have thought of,” he said.

Paddy, a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, recently produced a book of reflections, “Whatever became of the class of 1957?” from more than 40 classmates from St. Michael’s College.

His career in education began firstly as a teacher for more than 20 years in St. Mary’s Secondary School, Irvinestown holding the post of Vice-Principal for most of that time. He then moved to the Western Education and Library Board working in Curriculum Development and as a Schools Inspector and led the team introducing the CLASS (Computerised Local Administration System for Schools) project in schools across the Board area before it was expanded across Northern Ireland.

Following his retirement, Paddy continued his involvement in education and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors at St. Fanchea’s College, Enniskillen and is also a member of the Parish Council at St. Michael’s. He has been involved in producing a parish newsletter over the years.

Paddy and his wife, Kathleen are now looking forward to visiting York Minster on 6 April for the Maundy Thursday service.