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Martin Needham


Aillemore, Killadoon, Louisburgh

The death took place on Christmas Day, 2017 of Martin Needham, Aillemore, Killadoon, Louisburgh.  Martin was born on March 30, 1990, the son of Pat Joe and Breege Needham, the youngest of five. On his arrival, there was huge excitement within the family, with neighbours and friends, as he was the first boy in the family.
Martin’s school years were spent in Killeen pre-school, Killeen Holy Family National School and Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh, where he made many lifelong and loyal friends. He later studied and completed his Green Cert at Mountbellew Agricultural College, where he made additional lifelong friends with similar interests to himself. Through his training he gained much agricultural experience on farms throughout Ireland.
From a very young age, Martin’s first love was plant and machinery. As a child he had every toy model of plant and machinery that was available. He started to operate real machinery around the age of 16 years and mastered the skills very quickly. He really loved plant and machinery, working with it, checking it on DoneDeal or watching it on YouTube. He got a kick out of telling the story of his school teacher who advised him to stop looking out the window at passing agricultural machinery, as he would never get a job looking out a window, later he used to say I proved him wrong.
In his early twenties, he travelled to New Zealand to work agricultural machinery on the harvests. He also worked in Western Australia where he was a plant operator, working on pipe laying projects. He later worked as a plant operator on projects around Dublin. Martin enjoyed his working travels and the wonderful friends he made along the way. While away he always kept in close contact with home. Numerous hours were spent on the phone when he would tell of life abroad and hear all the news from home. On Skype calls he would ask to see out the window and would be so happy to see the familiar views and delighted if he could spot a neighbour passing. Home was where the heart was.
On returning home, Martin set up his own sheep enterprise, while also helping his dad with the family farm. Together they worked very well together and enjoyed regular trips to Maam Cross mart, as well as other marts in the area. He also continued to operate machinery on farm jobs, silage making and turf cutting. Martin cherished his many friends in the farming and machinery community and really enjoyed the people he met through his work.
Martin loved his iPhone and all types of social media to keep in touch with his many friends. He was a regular user of DoneDeal for buying and selling animals, plant and machinery. Facebook, YouTube and SnapChat have lost a good customer too!
He loved people and making friends from every generation. Martin was a friendly fella who loved socialising, he would volunteer to steward or help at community events. He enjoyed yearly trips to the Ploughing Championships, Louisburgh horse show and Carrowniskey races. He also enjoyed the local card games and the craic that surrounded them. He was a member of Louisburgh Macra na Feirme, as part of a Macra team he competed in tractor and farm skills competitions at both regional and national level. He recently enjoyed taking part in the ‘Light up Louisburg’h Macra Christmas event, decorating his beloved tractor with fairy lights and decorations for the event.
At 6’5’’, Martin was a gentle giant, a pleasant and happy person who enjoyed life to the full. He was a close family man who loved the craic around the kitchen table and the banter with his nieces and nephews, they too loved the fun with him. Sadly, Martin’s life came to a sudden end following a tragic accident on Christmas Day.  
Martin’s funeral proceedings were meticulously coordinated by Peter Sweeney Funeral Director and staff. The local people, friends, neighbours, community organisations, and businesses were exemplary in the organization and support they provided to make all the proceeding run like clockwork … from providing family support and food, to providing refreshments to people who travelled, to seamless traffic management over many days, all their efforts were invaluable and their contributions made our loss more bearable, we are forever grateful for our wonderful community.
The high esteem in which Martin was held was clearly shown in the huge crowds of people who turned out to pay their respects during his reposal at his family home, in Sweeney’s funeral home Louisburgh, and at his requiem Mass in the Church of the Holy Family, Killeen, followed by burial in Killeen cemetery. During the days following his death there were lots of great stories and memories exchanged.
The requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr Mattie Long, together with Fr Gill and Fr Judge. Fr Mattie Long’s homily focused on his love of machinery, farming, family and friends. The readings were by his cousins Francis and Judith. Prayers of the Faithful were read by his cousin Robert, niece Rachel and nephew Dylan. The gifts were brought to the alter by his nieces and nephews.
Guards of honor formed along the streets of Louisburgh for Martin’s final journey home, the tractors guard of honor at Killeen Church was a very touching sight to behold, which he would have loved, as was the tractor escort to the burial Mass the following day. Martin was carried shoulder high from his home to his family farm buildings and again from Killeen crossroads to the church by his many great friends. His sisters and parents guided his coffin into the church for requiem Mass and out of the church, he was carried by his friends, uncles and brothers-in-law to his final resting place. His grave in Killeen old graveyard had been beautifully prepared by many of his friends, neighbours and relatives.  
Martin is dearly missed by his family, neighbours and friends. He is survived by his heartbroken parents Pat Joe and Breege (nee Ferrins); sisters Olivia Needham-Kearney, Patricia Needham, Catriona Lavelle, Elaine Keane; brothers-in-law Anthony Kearney, Martin Lavelle, Donal Keane; nieces and nephews Darragh and Rachel Kearney, Dylan, Sarah and Laura Lavelle and Sam Keane; His extended family, neighbours and very wide circle of friends.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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