Patients and medical professionals in Ennis and surrounds were united in mourning following the death of Dr Eugene Casey at his home on Tuesday night.
Doctors, nurses and countless medical staff who would have worked with Dr Casey over five decades of general practice are deeply saddened by his passing.
Dr Casey (67), Shanaway Road, one of the best-known and highly-respected doctors in the county, worked as a locum on a regular basis for Dr Michael Harty in Kilmihil since his election to the Dáil, Dr Eamon Ralph in Kildysart and Dr Maura O’Meara in Doonbeg.
Having first opened his doors as a GP in the late 1970s, the father-of-three built a thriving practice until 2010, when it was taken over by Dr Colum Gavin.
While Dr Casey officially retired a year later, he went back working as a locum in recent years.
Dr Harty said he would miss Dr Casey a great deal, as he was a great medical colleague and friend. He said Dr Casey was very well liked by the nurses and staff in the surgery and, in particular, by patients, as he had a great empathy with people, particularly the elderly.
“Dr Casey got on with everyone and had a great roguish sense of humour and saw the fun in every aspect of life. He could also be a very serious person and took a great interest in politics and what was going on in the world around him.
“He was a great thinker and was philosophical in nature. He was a great support to his medical colleagues when they were going through times of difficulty. He was a great person you could turn to for advice. He will be sorely missed by all his patients in Ennis and Kilmihil. He was very popular as a doctor.
“It is a very sad time for his family and everyone who knew him,” he said.
Dr Casey’s passing is particularly lamented by Dr Colum Gavin, who described his predecessor as an “exemplary” person and family doctor.
“As a mentor to me and many young doctors in the county, his kindness, patience, skill and experience were unrivalled. As a physician, he had a gift that was obvious to all his patients, young and not so young.
“Whilst his experience was obvious, his humanity and his humour always shone, even in the most difficult situations. His wise counsel was a gift to myself, the medical community and countless patients throughout the county and further afield.
“In recent years, he shared his gift with the people of Tanzania and also filled in for many of his colleagues around the county.”
Dr Gavin said he was proud to take over his practice and was struck by the esteem in which he was held by the people of Ennis.
“He gave me fantastic support in recent years and remained much-loved in our practice, amongst all the patients he encountered and amongst his medical colleagues throughout the county.He upheld the best traditions of family medicine and we are all poorer for his passing,” he added.
Dr Casey is survived by his wife, Nuala; children, Damien, Eoghan and Rachael; extended family and friends.
His remains will repose this Thursday evening at Daly’s Mortuary Chapel, Ennis from 5pm to 8pm. Funeral mass will take place on Friday at 11am in Ennis Cathedral, with burial afterwards to Drumcliffe Cemetery.