Fr. Denis Tangney became Parish Priest on September 19th 1972. Fr. Tangney was a reserved man. Yet he became in a short time very much the "Father" of the parish. He was assiduous in visiting all his parishioners. He had a phenomenal memory for names and faces. Young and old would be warmly greeted by their first name. He loved visiting the Primary School where was always able to greet each pupil by their name.
Fr. Tangney saw his role as one of consolidation. He paid off the debt on the church and the school. He helped to set up St. Mark's Secondary School in Didsbury, and was responsible until his death for the Diocesan side of the financing of St. Mark's and its later expansion and renaming as Barlow High School. he was Parish Priest for seventeen years at St. Bernard's. He was taken seriously ill in September 1989 and died in Cork on October 16th 1989.
Fr. Denis asked to be brought back and buried in Southern Cemetery – to be, as he said, among his friends. The huge crowds which attended the Requiem Mass on the evening his body was brought back to St. Bernard's, and which filled the church on the following day for the Solemn Requiem Mass, testified to the great esteem and love he engendered in all who came into contact with him. The quiet word, the unnoticed acts of kindness, the charity given without show were remembered by his parishioners.