Kate, who has just died and whose funeral is today, was the wife of Fr Ted Flanagan – priest of Clogher diocese and latterly of The Oratory
Kate and Ted’s relationship began when he was a seminarian on Maynooth.
Kate moved to work in a Dublin hotel to be near Ted in Maynooth.
When Ted was ordained c 1960 he was appointed curate of Cooneen in County Fermanagh.
Kate went to live with Ted as his housekeeper.
Within a year they caused a major scandal by eloping together to England.
There were threats to their lives
They settled in Lincolnshire where Ted became a teacher and organist.
After rearing their five children Kate went to the University of Hull and gained a law degree.
After retirement Ted and Kate moved to live in Kate’s native Fanad in Donegal.
Clogher diocese had never taken any action against Ted. They just ignored the anomaly. So Ted remained a priest in canon law.
Ted decided to join The Oratory and said his first Mass in decades on an Oratory pilgrimage to Lourdes.
He celebrated Mass afterwards both at The Oratory and in various locations.
He celebrated many marriages as a nominated solemniser/ officiant of The Oratory Society.
Ted died in 2019 and is interred at Larne.
Kate will join Ted in the Larne plot.
Ted and Kate were big supporters of the British Labour Party.
They were also great hosts and their parties were legendary in Fanad, Donegal.
I had the pleasure of receiving their hospitality on many occasions.
May Kate and Ted be reunited at the Heavenly Banquet.