A benefit night for the family of the late Frank Roche from Clonea Power will take place in Clancy’s Bar in Clonea village on Saturday, July 20.
Frank was taken very suddenly from his partner Catherine and their five very young children on April 7.
A thousand people attended his funeral - a testament to what Frank and his family meant to the community.
Conversations afterwards led to the setting up of a committee and the “Frank Roche Family Fund”.
This Fund is designed so that Frank’s five children can grow up with the memory that when the need was greatest the community was there to help.
Frank was a labouring man, who worked in the UK for about 10 years before returning home in the early 1990s.
I had not known him before he left, so when a tall, fit man with shoulder length, brown hair asked me in my local pub one night in 1995 if I had any work, I was a little surprised by his directness.
Frank came from a large family of 18, nine boys and nine girls, and they grew up in a cottage with half an acre.
Each one of them made their way in the world through hard work to the point where they were all independent, which is something you don’t achieve if you are not direct and/or afraid to fight your own corner.
Frank told me back then he wanted to make more of his life than just being an “Irish navvy in London”.
This he achieved in spades.
He was not only a very able stockman and farm hand but also a father of tremendous energy and commitment.
In his time working with me, Frank held that unique position occupied by generations of farm labourers, where it was almost impossible for a stranger arriving on the farm to divine, who was the actual boss.
Donations to the Frank Roche Family Fund can be lodged at any AIB branch to account number: 10569057, sort code 93-50-50.
Tickets are also on sale for the Frank Roche Family Fund raffle that will take place at the benefit night.