Known to some as
“Fr Bill Raff”, he was born on May 3,
1920 in Kilrea, Co. Derry.
Father Rafferty was educated at Swatragh
Primary School and St. Columb’s College,
Derry, after which he moved to St.
Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and was
ordained as priest for the Diocese of
Derry on June 17, 1945.
After ordination, he went on loan for
two years to the Diocese of Salford
(Manchester area). On his return, he
served as Curate for one year in
Greencastle and Rouskey, Co Tyrone.
In 1949, he served for a brief period as
Chaplain to Nazareth House, Derry before
becoming Curate in Moville where he
served for ten years. In 1959, he was
appointed as Curate to Long Tower,
Derry, and, in 1974, he was appointed
Adm. Long Tower, a position he held for
In 1976, he was appointed as the first
Parish Priest of the then new parish of
Urney and Castlefin.
On retiring as Parish Priest in 1995, he
served for a number of years as Curate
in Lifford until poor health forced him
to retire from parish work.
In retirement, he moved to Moville where
he remained until his death.
Despite poor health and total loss of
sight, he had many visitors calling for
advice and guidance on spiritual
Throughout his life as a priest, he was
very active in the Charismatic Renewal
Movement and other prayer groups in the
Requiem Mass and burial will take place
in St Columb’s Church, Doneyloop,
27/05/09 at 12 noon.