Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta

Photo By Gibbs Frazeur/Archdiocese of Atlanta
Father David McGuinness, right, was incardinated into the Atlanta Archdiocese at the Chrism Mass in 2010 along with Msgr. Edward Branch, left, and Father Francisco Munoz, center. Father McGuinness, died Feb. 4 in Ireland. He was the former pastor of St. Joseph Church in Athens.


Father David McGuinness, former pastor of Athens parish, remembered 

By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published February 7, 2024

LIMERICK, Ireland—Father Francis David “Davy” McGuinness, senior priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, died Sunday, Feb. 4, in Limerick, Ireland. He was 81 years old and a priest for 47 years. 

He was born in Limerick City to David and Margaret McGuinness.  

Father David McGuinness

Father McGuinness earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics. He graduated from St. John’s Seminary in Waterford, where he studied theology. 

Father McGuinness was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore, Ireland, by Bishop Michael Russell on June 4, 1977. A parish priest and college economics teacher in Ireland, he spent summers serving in Atlanta beginning in 1977. Father McGuinness came to Atlanta permanently in November 2001 to work in the archdiocese. He was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 2010.  

Father McGuinness served as a parochial vicar at All Saints Church, Dunwoody, and Holy Trinity Church, Peachtree City. He was the pastor of St. Joseph Church, Athens, from 2003 to 2017.  

As leader of the St. Paul’s Youth Movement in Ireland, he created a student exchange program between youth in Ireland and Gainesville, Georgia. 

He retired from active ministry in 2018. 

Father McGuinness is the treasured and much-loved brother of Ita (Copley), Kathleen “Kay” (Dinneen), Martha “Sister Marie,” Olive (O’Connell), Denis and the late Detta (Smyth). He will be missed by his loving brothers-in-law Len, Paddy and Joe, nephews, nieces, extended family members and many friends in Ireland and the United States. 

A Requiem Mass for Father McGuinness will be Saturday, Feb. 10, at 10 a.m., at Dominican’s Church in Limerick, Ireland. The Mass will be livestreamed at 

The burial will be in Mount St. Oliver Cemetery.