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29th Aug 2019

Tributes paid to leading MND campaigner Fr Tony Coote who has died aged 55

Fr Coote raised hundreds of thousands of euro for the cause last year.

Anna O'Rourke

Tributes have been paid to Motor Neurone Disease campaigner Fr Tony Coote who has died aged 55.

He passed away yesterday afternoon surrounded by family including his mother Patricia and his brothers David, Kieran and Pat.

Fr Coote was diagnosed with the illness in February of 2018 and became wheelchair bound several months later.

He became a leading advocate for the cause in the last year and half of his life.

Against medical advice, he walked from Donegal to Cork last year, raising €600,000 for Motor Neurone Disease research and services.

He also wrote a memoir about his life and his experience with MND, Live While You Can.

Fr Coote was administrator in the Mount Merrion parish in Stillorgan, Dublin where he was “a huge presence”, according to Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) CEO Róisín Duffy.

“He helped everyone and raised a phenomenal amount of money for the organisation,” she told RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland this morning.

In a statement, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin remembered Fr Coote for his courage and determination.

“Tony showed all of us how strength can be witnessed even in the face of human weakness.

“His courage and determination touched the hearts of people of all backgrounds.

“His courage leaves all of us more humble. May the Lord welcome and give him the deep peace to which he witnessed in his suffering. May he rest in peace.”