“His love for his native place and its people -- the Borlin Valley in Bantry Parish -- has never wavered,” Gavin said.
“All who know Fr. Con are grateful for having known him and our diocese is blessed that he ministered among us.”
“We commend both men to the Lord and pray God’s comfort and consolation for all those who are in mourning.”
The Rt. Rev. Paul Colton, the Church of Ireland (Anglican) bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, also expressed his sadness at the priest’s death.
“I send my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Fr. Con Cronin, his parishioners, Bishop Fintan Gavin and the priests and people of the Diocese of Cork and Ross,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Parishioners held a vigil for the priest and Bus Éireann driver on Aug. 3.
Fr. Sean O’Sullivan, who served alongside Fr. Cronin in the Harbour Parishes, recalled that the priest had often said that gratitude is “the memory of the heart.”
“Despite our shock and our overwhelming sadness for Con, his family, his friends, his Kiltegan family, and our community where he was truly beloved, Con would want us to draw comfort from the wonderful memories we have shared and the joy, the blessings, the love and the comfort he has brought us these past nine years,” O’Sullivan wrote on the parish website.
“Not only did Con become part of our lives but he allowed us to be part of his, with no conditions, no judgments, no reservations. His heart was open to all as was the door to his house.”
“He allowed us to share fully in his life and what a ride it has been! For all you have given us, for all you have done for us, but most especially for being you, thank you, Con.”
O’ Sullivan said that the priest’s funeral would take place in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. Government regulations state that only 50 mourners are permitted at funeral services.
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”Our churches will remain open later than usual over the coming days to allow people time to visit the church and to say a prayer for Con,” the priest said.
“Please also remember the driver of the bus, Mark Wills, who also died in the accident and pray that God will comfort his family and surround them with loving support in their devastating loss.”
“So often Con carried us through tragedy. He would want us to rally around and support one another now and to be there for one another.”
“Con, may you return home to God now from the dance of life. May your example of love continue to inspire us. May your unshakeable faith in the love of God strengthen us. Rest in peace, dear friend. Heaven just got a little brighter! We will miss you dearly for you were truly loved!”