20 March 2017

Malawi: Fr O'malley Dies - Catholic Priest With Far-Reaching Influence in Malawi Democracy

First president of Malawi's multi-party democracy Bakili Muluzi on Sunday mourned the death of Fr. Patrick O'Malley, a Catholic priest who played a significant role in the development of multiparty democracy in Malawi.

O'Malley, an Irish Catholic humanitarian priest, who served in Malawi during his active priesthood for a long time, died in Ireland at his retiring home.

"He was an extraordinary person. I deeply mourn his death," said Muluzi.

"He was very instrumental in the fight against one party dictatorship. He and many of us worked very closely to champion democracy. He was deported by then ruling MCP government," said Muluzi.

The former president said Fr O'Malley book 'Living Dangerously' is one of his best collections.

In the book, the Catholic priest acknowledged the financial support Muluzi personally gave to the multiparty advocates especially when they wanted the famous anonymous letters and pamphlets advocating for democracy to reach every corner of Malawi.

"Fr O'Malley's death is a very sad occasion," said Muluzi who conveyed his condolences to the Catholic Church.

Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Secretary General Fr Henry Saindi.

"ECM received the death of Fr O'Malley with a sense of shock," he said.

Fr O'Malley was appointed Malawi's honorary consular of Malawi in Ireland in the early 2000 by Muluzi helped the Malawi community in Ireland in many pursuits such as being a mediator for Malawian students and various college owners in Ireland and on immigration matters.

In 1992, when Malawians demonstrated against the Malawi Congress Party under the iron rule of late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda's regime for the ill-treatment of the Catholic Bishops and for the arrest of the militant freedom fighter the late Chakufwa Chihana after they had released a scathing but truthful 'Pastoral Letter' condemning the government's poor human rights record, Father O'Malley who was among activists fueling the wind of change in Malawi was ordered to leave the country within 24 hours by authorities because of what he said to students in one of his sermons.

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