Leixlip and Claremorris
GERARD McGarry, Leixlip, Co Kildare, who died peacefully surrounded by his family and in the loving care of the staff at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, was a native of Ardroe, Claremorris. He was aged 68.
One of a family of nine born to the late Gerry and Babe McGarry, he attended the local Boys National School and later Claremorris Vocational School before moving to Dublin in his late teens.
He spent a time working on the buses in Dublin before taking up an appointment as a Prison Officer. It was in this profession that he was to spend the vast part of his working life in Dublin between Mountjoy and Wheatfield prisons.
Gerard, or Gerry as he was known to his colleagues, was blessed with a wonderful sense of humour and compassion and was a firm favourite with all age groups. He blended in so well with all sides and established a great rapport that earned him the respect of all.
He enjoyed his pints with colleagues and telling stories and yarns from down in Mayo that brought many smiles to the faces of comrades. He had an array of friends around Dublin and Kildare and cherished each and every one of them.
Gerard married Bernadette Walsh from Aclare in Co Sligo and he and Bernie made numerous journeys down west, especially in the summer months, always proud of their western roots. They were regular supporters of Mayo at big match days in Croke Park and the red and green always flew proudly outside the family home in Leixlip.
News of his passing, after a short illness, was received with much sadness and regret in his native Claremorris, a town he was always proud to call his home. Neighbours and friends travelled from the west to the funeral ceremonies in Lucan and Leixlip.
Tributes were paid to Gerard by colleagues towards the end of the Requiem Mass in Confey Church, Leixlip, including some humourous reminiscences and memories that brought smiles to many in the large congregation. The Green and Red of Mayo song was also sung during the funeral ceremony. Colleagues from the Prison Service as well as neighbours joined in the guard of honour.
Holy Water from Knock was sprinkled on his grave while soil from the back garden of the family home in Ardroe was also placed on the grave. Eamonn Kelly rendered a version of Moonlight in Mayo at the graveside in Confey Cemetery with many joining in the chorus. It was a poignant moment and a fitting farewell to a gentleman who never forgot his roots in Mayo.
Gerard, who was predeceased by his sister Martina and also by his sister Marie who died at the age of 3, is survived by his wife Bernadette and their family, Jason, Sinéad and Gerard, grandchildren Holly, Victoria, Kacy, Tadhg, Millie and Kerry, son-in-law Audi, daughters-in-law Hanna and Pauline, sisters Mairéad (Egan), Nuala (Conboy), Chrissie (Clogher) and Joan (O’Connor), brothers Michéal and John, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and friends.