A former Irish banker has traded his work in the currency markets to preach the word of God. David Barrins from Collooney in Co. Sligo made the decision in 2005 to give up his yuppie lifestyle in exchange for a vow of poverty to become a Dominican, a member of the Order of Preachers (OP).
Ordained yesterday, Fr Barrins is hopeful that his life experiences will enable him to relate to people.
"I’ve seen what it’s like to face choices, to earn money, to pay bills, and to pay the mortgage," he told the Irish Examiner.
"My brothers in the order come from a variety of backgrounds too – from bankers to pharmacists. It helps us to relate to people. It gives us an ability to speak about the world we have come from, and to the world."
Armed with a finance degree, Fr Barrins began his career working with AIB in the international banking sector in Dublin. He traded currency on the global financial markets, with a specialty in the Japanese yen. But despite building a successful career, the Sligo man says his life didn't feel complete.
"It wasn’t satisfying on a deeper level. I had money, but it didn’t give me the freedom I wanted," he said.
Fr Barrins said he first felt the call of God at a young age, but he found it difficult to discuss his urge to become a priest with friends. He wanted all the normal things in life such a job, a wife and a family.
"I said I’ll have to either ignore it, or give in and give it a go," he said.
After joining the Dominicans' novitiate he took vows of poverty, obedience and celibacy and has become "happier and happier" as the years have gone by.
Yesterday Fr Barrins was ordained a priest by Bishop of Cork and Ross, Most Reverend Dr John Buckley, at a ceremony in St Mary’s Dominican Church on Pope’s Quay, Cork.
The third Dominican priest to be ordained this year in Ireland, he was joined by his parents Christopher anc Celine, and his three siblings, relations and friends.