Reverend who died in floodwater remembered

Achill Island

The retired clergyman who died on Sunday night when his car was caught in floodwater on Achill Island has been remembered as “a man you could be proud of and very fond of”.

Rev Val Rogers made the comments yesterday as he paid tribute to 81-year-old Roger Grainger who died in the accident near Dugort on the northern side of Achill Island at around 10pm on Sunday night.

Rev Rogers told RTÉ’s News at One that the English native had been a frequent visitor to the area with his late wife, and decided to move permanently to the area a number of years ago.

He said that Rev Grainger had completed seven PhDs and was looking to do an eighth before his fatal accident.

“His eighth was being negotiated with Galway University on Irish expressionist theatre. What delighted him about that was that Irish expressionist theatre was simply about the human condition, not about a particular problem here or particular problem there but about the very predicament of being alive and being mortal. The poor fella proved very mortal last night in that accident,” Rev Rogers said.

“He was a most affectionate man, an utterly gregarious person. He was always interested in people, a man of deep, deep faith. I found him most stimulating in Lenten or advent discussions here. He would make these unexpected cross references to sociology or psychology, he had become fascinated by mental wellness and mental illness,” he said.

Rev Rogers also said that Rev Grainger was a formally trained actor.

“He was from the Diocese of Wakefield, a Church of England priest. But he had been first, and always remained, passionately involved in the theatre. He was an Old Vic actor, very formally trained, had quite a career in acting and continued occasionally to act even until recent years,” Rev Rogers said.

Rev Grainger was pronounced dead at the scene of Sunday night’s accident and his body was removed to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar.

The stretch of road was closed to allow for an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to contact Westport Garda Station on 098 50230, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.


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