The sad and unexpected death of Michael Burke, R.I.P., Drumminwonagh, Westport occurred on Thursday June 20, 2019 surrounded by his loving wife and family with the exception of his eldest daughter Niamh who unfortunately could not be at his bedside because of her husband’s (Frank) final illness, may he also rest in peace.
Michael was born on October 10, 1948, the first of a large family to Tess and Matt Burke, Cappaduff, Tourmakeady. He was educated at his local national school Glensaul, and later boarded at St. Enda’s College, Galway, followed by a BA degree course at UCG. It was during his time at third level that he met his other half Máire Ní Chinnéide, a Kerry woman, with whom he celebrated over 50 years of marriage.
Blessed with three children Niamh, Sinéad and Maitias, he was a great father. Michael had the privilege of seeing them all settle down with their respective partners Frank, Gerry and Martha. His grandchildren, Alex, Pippa, Cillian, Síofra, Múirín, Meadhbh and Maidhc brought him great joy.
He was generous to a fault and supported various causes including the Lions Club with his special annual “fish do”. He was always supportive, non-judgemental, a kind big hearted man who always had time for the ‘craic’, indeed ‘a gentle giant’ as many will remember him.
He had a great love of all sorts of sport and was especially passionate about Mayo football. He was involved in many clubs (rugby and football) as a player, coach and manager. He taught at Kiltimagh and Swinford vocational schools, then finally at Davitt College, Castlebar, imparting skills he knew, until his early retirement due to a stroke. Afterwards as he said himself he had ”to go down a gear” and take life at a slower pace. He loved the sea and lending a hand on his son’s oyster farm helped with his rehabilitation.
Just when he thought he was on top of the world he suffered a setback and underwent a successful quadruple bypass in August 2013. Then in November 2016 he was diagnosed with Neuroendocrine cancer (NET) for which he was receiving treatment in Sweden. His final session was postponed as he was scheduled for another open heart surgery, this unfortunately was not to be. Michael will be sorely missed.
Fear ann féin a bhi i ‘Mike’ fear fial, flaithiúil, fáilteach, geal-gháireach, spóirtiúil a thug aghaidh go cróga ar dhúshláin an t-shaoil, ceann ar cheann. Fear uasal, íseal a d’fhág folús diamhair. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam.