THE Foxford community, which has been touched by a lot of sadness in recent weeks, was plunged into mourning yet again at the weekend with the death of well-known farmer, Owen Roe O’Neill. He died after a round bale of hay fell on him in the shed.
Owen (59) was a native of Cappawhite, Co Tipperary but had resided in Rinnaney, Foxford for many years. He came to the area after marrying Evelyn Noone from Rinnaney.
One of Mayo’s most extensive farmers, Owen was known for his entrepreneurial skills. He had an abiding love for the land and livestock and was widely respected not only in Mayo but further afield. He was also a cattle jobber and involved in the silage-making industry.
A neighbour summed up the feelings of the community as they tried to cope with the sad news: “Owen was a very decent man. The O’Neills are a lovely family, real down-to-earth hard working people. Owen was extremely helpful and a great neighbour. The whole area is in mourning for him, a lovely gentleman.”
A number of farming leaders in Mayo and around the country also joined in the tributes to Owen over the weekend.
There were very large attendances at the funeral ceremonies and removal took place from Clarke’s Funeral Home on Saturday evening to Foxford Parish Church with burial in the local cemetery following Mass on Sunday. The chief celebrant was his brother, Msgr Willie O’Neill, who was home on vacation from Georgia when the accident took place.
He is deeply regretted by his wife Evelyn, sons Michael and John, daughters-in-law Maura and Mary, grandchildren, brothers, Msgr Willie, PJ and Michael, sister Nuala, relatives, neighbours and many friends.