Fondly remembered: Joseph Gilhooley

Tributes have been made to Joseph Gilhooley, a "kind and generous" man who dedicated almost his entire adult life to St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh.

He served the Cathedral for some 49 years and was latterly MC and sacristan before ill-health prevented him from continuing a few years back. He died yesterday morning (Monday 11 May) aged 72.

Wojtek Gardela, current MC at the Cathedral, said: "Joseph was a very good-natured person, kind, generous and always ready to help others. He was also very playful and would be up to mischief, but putting a smile on people's faces!

"He dedicated his life to the Cathedral - every part of it will have Joseph live-on in its substance in some way.

"Sadly, he had been suffering dementia over the past few years. He'll be very much remembered and missed by the Cathedral community. Joseph leaves behind his twin sister Patricia, who always supported him."

At the time of his passing, Joseph, who was a parishioner at Holy Cross Parish, was resident at Ferryfield House care home in the city. One of the fond memories parishioners and clergy will recall was of him making cheese 'pieces' in the Cathedral kitchen, which used to be distributed to those in need after Mass.

Archbishop Leo Cushley said: "Joseph was a kind, gentle soul who was well loved by generations of parishioners at the Cathedral. He will be fondly remembered by so many people across Edinburgh and the wider Archdiocese. May he rest in peace."

Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld Diocese, former Auxiliary Bishop for our archdiocese, said: "His attention to the Liturgy was legendary and his care for priests in the Cathedral House was always given with great generosity and kindness, but also with a great sense of fun - he was a great mimic of Mgr Grady, Mgr McQuillan and Cardinal Gray! He was a wonderful soul, full of love and service. God rest him."

Funeral arrangement are to be announced shortly.