THE communities of Lahinch and Ennistymon are said to be “numbed and heartbroken” as they bid farewell to well-loved local man, Conor Tuohy.
Mr Tuohy’s funeral took place this Thursday at Lahinch Church. The hugely popular 67-year-old musician, composer and former Garda lost his life in a road incident on Friday, January 20.
His passing has cast a pall of sadness over North Clare as the community tries to come to terms with the tragedy.
As his family announced news of Mr Tuohy’s passing, they described him as “a great friend to all”.
Tributes have poured in from all across Clare and far beyond and musician Luka Bloom made a moving Facebook tribute to Mr Tuohy, dedicating one of his compositions ‘I Hear You’ to his family.
Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District, Councillor Shane Talty extended condolences to Mr Tuohy’s family, partner and friends, on behalf of Clare County Council and Ennistymon GAA Club.
He described Mr Tuohy as “a hugely talented musician, singer, entertainer and a jovial spirit of the community”.
Councillor Talty said Mr Tuohy’s family, friends and neighbours were feeling “numbness, sadness and huge grief”. Councillor Talty, who is also chairperson of the local GAA club, paid tribute to Mr Tuohy’s life-long dedication and his membership, as a boy, of the 1971 County Championship winning team.
“He was a man who enjoyed life and anywhere he went, he warmed the room when he was there,” Councillor Talty said.
“He had a great sense of humour and great talent. He was a man who really enjoyed life and did his very best to move on, in a positive way, through all of its ups and downs.
“He looked to take enjoyment from life and to share that enjoyment and he did that to the last. Our hearts go out to Conor’s family and his partner.
“Such a sudden and unexpected passing makes everything so much harder to come to terms with and they had a long and difficult weekend waiting to make arrangements.
“Everyone in the community will be there to support them in every way that they can.”
Councillor Talty said his thoughts were also with the other people involved in the three-vehicle collision and he wished them well.
Senator Martin Conway described Mr Tuohy as “a highly respected member of the local community”.
“While he was a Garda, he served in the area and was known from his compassion and decency,” he said.
“He was at the heart of the community and he continued to be involved after his retirement. Through his music and singing, he brought great joy and happiness to so many people.
“He has a large family and they will continue his great legacy. The communities of Ennistymon and Lahinch are standing in solidarity with them in their grief.”
Mr Tuohy is survived by his partner Edel, his sons and daughter and extended family, as well as a wide circle of friends and neighbours.
Earlier this week, Clare’s Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Triona Brooks repeated the Garda appeal for information on the road incident, which happened on the N85 on the Ennistymon side of Inagh at around 1pm.
Witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage is asked to contact Ennis Garda Station on 065-6848100, any Garda station or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.
Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at The University of Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 065 6864146.