The Very Reverend William (Billy) Beare, a son of the United Dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, died on Friday 15th March in the care of the staff at Cork University Hospital. Dean Beare lived in Cork in his retirement, prior to which, from 1999 to 2008, he was Dean of Lismore, the neighbouring Diocese to the north-east.
Billy Beare (born in 1933) was made deacon in 1959 and ordained priest in 1960 and served his first curacy in Waterford. In 1962 he returned to Cork to serve a further curacy in the then Parish of Holy Trinity with Shandon. In 1964 he was appointed Rector of Rathcormac and, after four years, left there to become rector of Marmullane (Passage West) and Monkstown. From 1976 to 1982 he was a Diocesan Curate serving as hospital chaplain to all the hospitals in Cork City. In 1982 he was instituted as rector of Stradbally, Co Laois (1982-1999). In addition to canonries held in Cashel and Ossory, he was a Prebendary (Canon) of the National Cathedral of Saint Patrick, Dublin. Billy was predeceased by his wife Rose, and is survived by his children Walter and Rachel, his brothers Bob and George and a wide circle of family and friends.
Bishop Paul Colton writes:
On behalf of us all in Cork, Cloyne and Ross I extend sincere sympathy to the Beare family following Billy’s death, and most especially to Walter and Rachel. When I was a child in the neighbouring parish of Douglas and Frankfield, I first came to know Billy when he was based in Passage West. Everyone in the Diocese knew him during his time as a hospital chaplain in Cork City. During my time singing with the choir of St Fin Barre’s Cathedral, I remember vividly concerts we performed when Billy and his brother Bob were soloists, and, indeed, his son Walter was then also a chorister. Billy had good advice to give to me when I was selected to train for the ordained ministry, which I have never forgotten. Therefore, when Billy became rector of Stradbally, Co Laois, I was by then training for ordination, and I was roped in to drive down to Laois to sing with the Cathedral Choir which had travelled from Cork that night to sing at the Service of Institution. When I worked part-time in RTE in the 1990s, Billy was well-known for the quality and style of his radio broadcasts, which were often commented upon. In retirement he returned to Cork to be near Rose who was in St Luke’s Home, where, once again our paths crossed regularly. He will be fondly remembered, and again, I extend my condolences to those who knew him best and who loved him most. May he rest in God’s peace and rise in glory.