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Obituaries

Clare Champion Obituaries

Death of Frank Healy

The death has taken place, after a short illness, of Frank Healy, a leading light in Clare soccer. A native of Kilmaley, Frank was vice chairman of the Clare soccer league at the time of his death which occurred at Ennis General Hospital. He had been the driving force behind Kilmaley soccer club for many years but also found time to serve in a variety of positions with the Clare league. During his time as Clare league chairman, he was instrumental in the purchase of land in Doora where the county soccer grounds is now developed. He also served as registrar with the Clare league for a number of years. As a mark of respect, all junior soccer games in Clare were cancelled last weekend.    

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Colum Callinan laid to rest

A SLOW-moving and ever-lengthening queue filled Kilmihil village on Sunday evening, as people travelled from all over Clare to pay their respects to the late Colum Callinan. The 23-year-old passed away at Cork University Hospital last Thursday, following a single vehicle accident on Sunday, March 15. The silence of those queuing outside O’Halloran’s Funeral Home was indicative of how shocked mourners were and this was reflected in the days before and since throughout Kilmihil. A very talented footballer and free taker, Colum represented Kilmihil with pride and gusto. He was also part of the Clare U-21 panel in 2013 and played football for LIT during his days there as a student. Kilmihil GAA field is no more than a free kick removed from the funeral home where Colum was laid out and as the March breeze cut through the village, the sight of the field in such proximity added to the poignancy of the evening. “Colum made an immense contribution …

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The late Johnnie Hayes

By Seamus Hayes The death occurred unexpectedly on Tuesday night of leading ladies football official Johnny Hayes. A native of Rockmount, Ennis, he resided with his wife Christina at Lismorris, Lissycasey. His death has come just over two months after that of his mother. Johnny was deeply involved in GAA affairs all his life. He played hurling for his native Ballyea, with whom he won junior championship honours and he went on to serve as a club official at various levels. He was president of the Ballyea minor club at the time of his death He was a founder member of the Fergus Rovers Ladies Football club in 1986 and he served in a variety of positions with the club since then. He served two terms as Clare Ladies Football chairman and he was president of the Munster ladies football council for three years (1991 to 1993 inclusive). He has served on a number of committees at national level and was …

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A tribute to the late Tom McGrath

DESCRIBED as a “visionary in the area of mental health”, many tributes have been paid to the late Tom McGrath, Coole Lodge, Francis Street, Ennis, who died recently. A retired psychiatric nurse at the former Our Lady’s Hospital, he will be remembered for his contribution to the welfare of patients, as well as being a valued member of several voluntary organisations in Ennis. A proud Feakle man, he was educated and worked locally, before being appointed a psychiatric nurse in Our Lady’s Hospital in the late 1940s. Totally dedicated to the caring of patients, he was also a very popular member of the hospital staff. When he arrived in Ennis, it was the start of a long and happy association with the town, during which he and his wife, Theresa associated themselves with various voluntary organistions, their work being greatly appreciated. Tom also graduated with a degree in social science from UCG and he and his wife undertook courses for …

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Two CF families bereaved

The deaths of  two young people who succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis caused shock in the county over the past week. Ennis woman, Katie Drennan and Noel Colleran Junior from Quin died within a day of each other. Farewell to ‘inspirational’ Katie People were shocked and saddened when news filtered through of the death of 24-year-old, Katie Drennan, Claureen, Lahinch Road, Ennis. Leading the tributes, Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland chief executive officer, Philip Watt described Katie as a “remarkable lady”, who was “inspirational” in her role as an advocate for all CF sufferers. Praising the dedication and hard work of Katie and her family for organising countless fundraising events in aid of the new €5.2 million purpose-built unit for CF sufferers at the University Hospital Limerick (UHL), he said last week was an extremely difficult and traumatic one for local CF sufferers and their families. Parish priest of Inagh and Kilnamona, Fr Sean Sexton, who was the chief celebrant at her …

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Death of Quin parish priest

The death has occurred today (Thursday) of Fr Michael Collins, parish priest of Quin/Clooney/Maghera. Born on November 26, 1945 Fr Collins was a native of Ennis and was a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe for 32 years. A past pupil of Ennis Christian Brothers School, he studied philosophy in Dalgan Park, County Meath with the Missionary Society of St Columban. He then qualified as a primary school teacher and taught at the Ennis Boys National School until 1979. Fr Michel studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and he was ordained in Ennis Cathedral on June 10, 1983. He was appointed curate in Roscrea, Co Tipperary in July of that year and was appointed parish priest in 1998. He became parish of priest of Quin in July 2005. Fr Michael’s  remains will repose in St Mary’s Church, Quin on this Saturday, from 5pm to 8pm, followed by funeral prayers. Funeral mass on Sunday at 3pm will be followed by …

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Ennis Woman Dies in Jamaica

ENNIS woman, Maeve Smythe has died unexpectedly in University Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. She had been living in Turks and Caicos Islands for some time and was recently transferred to hospital in Kingston. The late Ms Smythe had broken her leg on December 21, following which she had an operation. Prior to relocating to the Carribbean, Ms Smythe ran Epicene, a business in Ennis town centre. Ms Smythe’s father was Tim Smythe, the former Clare county councillor and international cross country champion. The Fairgreen in Ennis is named after the late Tim Smythe. Ms Smythe is survived by her brothers, Barry, Ennis; Mike, Canada and Conor, Oregon, USA; and sisters, Maura Neylon, Ennis; Ann Dempsey, Grand Turk; and Olive Kelly, Dublin; relatives and a wide circle of friends.

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Dr Maeve Hillery dies in Dublin

The death has occurred of Dr Maeve Hillery, the widow of former President of Ireland, Dr Patrick J Hillery. The president, Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach, Enda Kenny have led many tributes to Dr Hillery. Dr Hillery, aged 91, passed away peacefully at her Dublin home the weekend. She married Patrick Hillery in 1955, having met while studying in University College Dublin. She was well-known in Clare, especially West Clare where she and her husband holidayed in the family home in Spanish Point. Patrick Hillery was the sixth president of Ireland, holding the position from 1976 to 1990, having previously being Ireland’s first European Commissioner. He also held cabinet positions in Fianna Fáil governments. Dr Hillery will repose at her home this evening (Monday) and a funeral mass will be held at noon on Tuesday at St Fintan’s Church in Sutton, Dublin. She will be buried afterwards at St Fintan’s Cemetery. Dr Hillery is s survived by her son, John; …

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