VINCENT Gormley, Killeenfarna, Claremorris, who died peacefully in the Claremount Nursing Home, surrounded by his devoted family, was a man who was held in the highest regard by all who knew him. He wife Maura (nee Ruane) died in 2012.
The Gormley family roots were in Tyrone and Vincent’s parents hailed from Strabane and Castlederg.
Vincent (93) worked in various capacities over the years including a time spent with O’Hare’s wood industries in Ballinrobe who also had an operation in Brookhill in those times.
He served for some years as a driver with John Murphy’s Wholesale business in Claremorris and was also employed by the Doyle Meat Company that was based in Co Kildare. Vincent was especially associated with Michéal O’Brien’s Centra Store at Main Street, Claremorris, where he was also employed for some years.
Vincent was a devoted member of Claremorris Fire Brigade Service since the 1960s and was the last surviving member of a group photo of members and officers taken back in 1964.
He was also closely associated with the FCA. He was an excellent marksman and was the Western Command individual winner of the coveted .303 shooting competition held at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon, an honour he cherished in a special way down through the years.
Vincent had a great love for the game of golf and was a prominent member of the Claremorris Golf Club. His standing among members was such that he was elected to serve as captain of the club in 1992.
He was a man endowed with a great sense of faith and had a special devotion to Knock Shrine where he was a loyal steward for many years. He often recalled walking to Knock on August 15 as a young boy along with his mother.
He loved gardening and enjoyed playing billiards and snooker in the Town Hall. Card playing was another passion, particularly solo, which he continued to play with a group of friends and his brother Brian up until the 2000s.
Vincent and Maura loved ballroom dancing and excelled at the foxtrot and show waltz at which they won numerous awards back in those times. They were regulars at the Monday night dancing in The Beaten Path to the Brose Walsh Band and other similar bands during the 1970s and 80s.
He had little interest in travel and never had a passport. He was an avid reader and he often said his books were a passport to the world.
Vincent had a huge interest in drama and was member of the cast along with the late Tom Merrick and so many others of that era. He never lost his love for drama and was a regular attendee at the Claremorris Festival all through the years.
He was devoted to his family and he was always happy and content when they were around. Family and faith were core values in his long life.
Reposing was at Gilligan’s Funeral Home with removal to St Colman’s Church. There was a large guard of honour from the Golf Club and the hearse was flanked by 14 fire officers drawn from Claremorris, Ballyhaunis, Ballinrobe and Kiltimagh fire stations. They led the cortege through the town to the church in a slow march. It was very touching and poignant tribute to a cherished colleague.
Burial took place in Claremorris Cemetery following Requiem Mass celebrated by Fr Martin O’Connor, PP, Ballindine.
In his homily, Fr O’Connor said Vincent had a deep faith that was a guiding light all though his life. “He was loyal and devoted to his family and was grateful to God for the many blessings he enjoyed on his journey through life. He had a great sense of gratitude which is such a noble trait in any person.
“Vincent had a great devotion to Knock and a wonderful reverence for the Eucharist. He truly was a saintly man. In the closing moments before his passing, he said ‘Thank you, Lord, for a wonderful life.’ What a beautiful way to leave this world. You, the family of Vincent, will have lovely memories to sustain and warm you in the times ahead.”
His daughter Róisín read an adaption of the Liam Lawton poem, Prayer on the Death of a Loved One, as a reflection at the end of the Mass.
Vincent, who was predeceased by his wife Maura and also by his brother Brian and sister Una, will be sadly missed by his daughters, Róisín and Martina, son Eamonn, daughter-in-law Mary, grandchildren Katie, Seán and Nora, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.