The people of Carrick-on-Suir are this week coming to terms with the tragic accidental death of a popular 72 year-old local man near his home last Friday evening.
The town witnessed its biggest funeral in many years as hundreds of mourners gathered at Walsh’s Funeral Home and St Molleran’s Church to pay their last respects to the late Joe Walsh from Coolnamuck, Carrickbeg, Carrick-on-Suir.
Mr Walsh died in an accident that occurred while he was cutting a tree in the company of his young grandson at a neighbour’s property close to his home at Coolnamuck.
A spokesman for Carrick-on-Suir Garda Station said they received the report of the accident around 5.20pm on Friday. Mr Walsh died at the scene and his body was removed by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital.
The father of four’s sudden and tragic death has shocked and stunned all who knew him in Carrick-on-Suir and communities in its wider rural hinterland.
Mr Walsh was a well known and popular figure in Carrick-on-Suir, who was involved in a wide range of community and cultural organisations. Before retirement he ran a highly regarded welding business at Coolnamuck for many years as well as being a FAS welding instructor.
He was a member of Carrick-on-Suir Active Retirement Club, a keen photographer with Carrick-on-Suir Camera Club and also was a talented painter with an art group based at the Nano Nagle Community Resource Centre.
He was also involved in Carrick-on-Suir’s Fishing Club and Carrick-on-Suir Golf Club and also enjoyed snooker. He played Gaelic Games in his youth with St Molleran’s GAA Club and had been involved in the FCA.
Fr Tom Flynn, PP of Carrickbeg & Windgap, who was the celebrant at the Requiem Mass for Mr Walsh on Tuesday morning, said it was an awful tragedy that had caused deep shock throughout the town.
He remembered Joe Walsh as someone who was always available to help out his neighbours, friends and the community. He was a very careful man, who had a great talent with his hands, particularly at metal work, the PP recalled.
Fr Flynn said no words could adequately express their feelings of loss at his death and on behalf of the parish he extended condolences to his grieving family.
St Molleran’s GAA Club also extended its deepest sympathy to his family.
The Club called off its Intermediate hurling league match last Saturday evening as a mark of respect and a minute’s silence was observed at the Club’s bingo night last Friday.
Jimmy Hogan, Chairman of Carrick-on-Suir Active Retirement Club, said his club had lost a very valued member and they were deeply sorry for his wife Theresa and family.
“Joe was vice-chairman of the Club for a while and he and Theresa used to go on holidays with the club. His death is very sudden and very sad. Everyone in community was shocked last Friday when they heard the news. “
Mr Walsh is survived by his devoted wife Theresa, sons Thomas, Martin and Gerard and daughter Olivia, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, other relatives and many friends.
His remains were removed from Walsh’s Funeral Home in Carrick-on-Suir on Monday evening to St Molleran’s Church in Carrickbeg. Requiem Mass was celebrated there the next morning after which Mr Walsh’s were buried in Clonea Cemetery.