WILLIE Duggan, Ballinaster, Mayo Abbey, who died recently in the kind care of the staff at the Galway Clinic, was a member of a prominent and highly regarded family in the parish of Mayo Abbey.
Willie was one of nature’s gentlemen whose kind and gracious manner endeared him to all. He was an outstanding farmer with a wonderful understanding of the farming way of life. With it came a sense of serenity which always emanated from Willie.
He was, in many ways, the embodiment of the observation made by Ralph Emerson all those years ago: The farmer times himself to Nature, and acquires that lifelong patience which belongs to her.
Willie had an instinctive knowledge of the land, the livestock and the crops. The respect for him among the farming fraternity was palpable as he was a man of immense integrity and virtue. He acquired the wisdom of the ages and adorned it with a most gentle and compassionate nature.
Willie married Imelda Trench from the nearby village of Gowel, Mayo Abbey. They raised a family of three, Liam, Regina and Richard. The Duggan home was always a warm and welcome place to call to at any time where Imelda and Willie ensured all visitors felt at ease.
At the end of the Funeral Mass in Mayo Abbey Church, Liam addressed the congregation and spoke fondly of his father and his role in their lives and the community.
“Dad had a happy and healthy life until the last few weeks. Dad and mom celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last April. He had a really enjoyable day even though we knew that he had serious health issues at the time.
“He was a happy farmer who took great pride in his land and animals. He worked hard with mom in building up the farm over the years.
“Every day, even as late as three weeks ago, he was working on the farm, keeping an eye on things and making sure that all of the animals were in good order.
“He had an incredible understanding of animal psychology and took great care of his cattle, sheep and not forgetting the dogs and cat.
“Many of you whom I have met over the past few days have spoken to us about his decency, sense of pride in his local community and willingness to support neighbours in doing a good turn.
“It is great to see that the strong meitheal tradition is still strong and alive in Mayo Abbey. My dad had two simple principles, don’t speak badly of anybody and treat others like you would wish to be treated yourself.
“Dad was a man of simple pleasures and cherished his family and grandchildren, Conor, Michelle, Emily and Niall. He also had special regard for his daughters-in-law Patricia and Ann and his son-in-law Rory. I wish to thank them for their help and support and all the people who were so kind to dad in the last few weeks of his life and down through the years,” said Liam.
Reposing was at Balla Funeral Home with removal the following morning to Mayo Abbey Church. Burial took place in the local cemetery following concelebrated Requiem Mass. The chief celebrant was Fr Austin Fergus.
Willie, who was predeceased by his brothers Fr Tommy, Fr Paddy and Christy, and his sisters, Sr Bernard, Sr Margaret Mary and Bernie, is deeply regretted by his wife Imelda, sons Liam and Richard, daughter Regina, brother Jarlath, in-laws, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives, friends and neighbours.