So, the Chief of the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, my cousin, Father Donald McGlynn, has gone back to the Great Spirit in the Sky.
And I will never get to ask him of his life with the Nigerians and what powers being chief of the Igbo gave him.
Which is, of course, a pity.
It strikes me that I have two choices.
Try and find out from his relatives at his funeral or go out to Nigeria and discover it for myself.
Happen, I’ll do both.
Father Donald was that most impressive of men.
You know the type… smart as a tack, well-travelled, well-balanced and non-judgmental.
And somebody who would let someone else take the floor and vent their spleen.
Without any knowledge of the subject on which he would have been an authority.
And so it was when he told us of his empathy for the Palestinians as he discussed a recent tour of The Holy Land.
After the Mass that he officiated at at my parents’ Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Father Donald and his Brother and five Sisters (and I cap them deliberately) were a regular presence in our house growing up in Glasgow.
The progeny of my Mum’s Uncle and Auntie, Danny and Norah McGlynn of Brockagh, Co. Donegal.
The patriarch was even personally blessed by Pope John Paul II when he visited Ireland.
And all of that rubbed off on me. Because like every Catholic boy in Glasgow I flirted with becoming a priest.
Before I discovered girls.
But Father Donald, missionary extraordinaire, you did and you were the best of us.
And as they say in Ireland…
Go raibh mile maith agat.