The sudden death of Denis McGrath, of Ballingarry, Thurles, caused widespread shock and regret throughout the parish of Ballingarry and further afield at Christmas. He had been in good health and his death on 23 December was unexpected. A popular and respected member of the community he was well known in wide circles in Co Tipperary. He was 84 years of age.
Educated at Castleknock College where he played Leinster Schools rugby, he belonged to a farming family in Ballingarry. He farmed at The Park. His coffin was draped in the Ballingarry GAA colours. He was one of the last surviving members of the Ballingarry team which won the County Senior Football Championship in 1951. A GAA Guard of Honour was led by three surviving members of the team: Dick Butler, Liam Barrett and Dick Fitzgerald. There was also a Guard of Honour from the local Creamery Committee.
He is survived by his wife Mary, sons Dr Thomas, Seamus and Denis, daughters, Marie Barry, Clare Moore, Carmel, and Philomena Clarke, sons-in-law Pat Barry, Michael Clarke, Mark Moore, and by eight grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Derry Quirke, Parish Priest of Ballingarry, assisted by Fr James Walton, a native of Ballingarry, and by Fr John Mc Evoy and Fr Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh of the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, Fr Fintan Morris of the diocese of Ferns, and the Augustinian, Fr Henry Mac Namara.
On behalf of the family, his son, Tom, paid a tribute to his father. The funeral was well attended. Elected representatives, councillors, T.D.s and current and former Ministers were present. The President of Ireland was represented by his Aide-de-Camp, Commandment Larkin. The Taoiseach was represented by his Aide-de-Camp, Commandment Treacy.
He was buried in the Old Church Cemetery. The interment concluded with the singing of ‘Ballingarry’.