TRIBUTES have been pouring in for a popular North Berwick Roman Catholic priest who suddenly passed away at his home on Sunday evening, hours after conducting his last service.

Monsignor Brian Provost Halloran, who lived in the town, died at the age of 84.

He was parish priest at Our Lady Star of the Sea, a post he took up in 2015.

He had celebrated Mass in the church at 10am on Sunday morning.

Monsignor Halloran was born on July 19, 1935, in Aberdeen. His family were from Edinburgh and they returned to the city, where he attended Holy Cross Primary School before heading to Blairs junior seminary.

His path to priesthood continued at St Andrew’s College near Melrose, where he attended the seminary in Drygrange and was part of the first intake of male students when it opened in 1953.

Monsignor Halloran was ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh in 1959 and he served at various parishes across the archdiocese.

He is fondly remembered in St Andrews, where he was parish priest at St James’ Church from 1987 to 2010.

He was also the senior priest of the archdiocese and Provost of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter.

He celebrated 60 years of service last September.

While in St Andrews, Monsignor Halloran wrote a PhD thesis which led to the publication of his book The Scots College, Paris, 1603-1792.

He later carried out missionary work, helping spread the Gospel in Armenia in 2005 and China a year later.

He also spent a year in Yendi in Ghana in 2010 as part of a sabbatical.

Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh said: “Brian Halloran loved being a priest and was an example of hard work and joyful service of his people.

“He was the best of the old school and served us for 60 years.

“He died an active priest – those who knew him would agree that would have been his wish.

“He was a good man and a fine priest. May he rest in peace.”

Father Andrew Forrest, of St Mary of the Assumption in Bo’ness, was in the same year as Monsignor Halloran at St Andrew’s College.

He said: “He was very dedicated and meticulous in doing things the best he could for the diocese, as a priest of the diocese. He stuck to the old principles that have stood the test of time.

“He will be missed.”

Father Scott Deeley, chancellor of the archdiocese, was a student at St Andrews University while Monsignor Halloran was its chaplain.

He said: “I know that many St Andrews alumni will be remembering Monsignor Halloran today with great fondness. He was a dedicated priest and an influence for great good in the lives of many young people. May he rest in peace.”

Since news of Monsignor Halloran’s passing was announced, parishioners have been paying tribute on social media.

Patrick Langan said: “Blessed to have bumped into Father Halloran by pure chance in North Berwick just six months ago after too many years. He greeted my wife and myself with great warmth and friendship; he married my son in St Andrews about 14 years ago.”

A funeral mass takes place on Monday (March 9) at noon in St Mary, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic church on Constitution Street in Leith, Edinburgh.

A reception of remains takes place at 6pm on Sunday (March 8) in the same venue.

The burial will folow at Mount Vernon Cemetery in Edinburgh.