Moyhastin, Westport, Co Mayo
The death of Tony Derrig occurred peacefully at home with his family on July 13. He was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and eventually, to his great joy, a great-grandfather. Tony was a friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. The second youngest in a family of seven, he was born in Kilnacoff in 1936 before soon moving to Moyhastin with his parents Tom Derrig and Margaret Moore. He followed in his father’s footsteps and Tony became a builder by trade and could quite easily turn his hand to anything, from carpentry to mechanics and in particular to the art of stone building in which he truly excelled. In fact the fruits of his labour are there for all to see at the shrine of the virgin Mary known locally as the grotto on the way to the Westport Quay which he worked on with his father Tom and his brother Brendan. As a young lad he worked with Tommy Rose doing jobs such as harvesting crops, reclaiming land, threshing oats and ploughing fields. He was never afraid of a hard day’s work and loved all machinery. He was known for taking machinery into places others wouldn’t dare and had a great knack for manuvering in the tightest of spots. Youtube would’ve loved him for sure. He left for England in 1961 with his soon-to-be wife Francis McGing, where they lived for twelve years. They started their family there and Kevin, Margaret and Anita were born. In 1973, the decision was made to return home to look after ageing parents along with his good friend and brother-in-law, Tommy and wife Ber Gavin (Erriff).
Upon returning home, they concluded their family with youngest daughters - Irene and Denise. Tony worked for a time in Northern Feather and the waterworks in Westport. He built the family home in Moyhastin himself. He continued to work as a labourer and built many extensions and houses locally.
One of his favourite hobbies was fishing and many a day was spent on Lough Mask or out in the bay, pipe in hand, with his son Kevin and sons-in-law Sean Cunniffe, Liam Carroll and Courtney Tarmey. Many a 25 card drive he attended over the years and he was very fond of a game of darts out in Darby’s.
He loved the bog and in recent years, after receiving a pacemaker, he returned to the bog with his new lease on life and dragged everyone with him. This was surely one of his favourite places, and there were few places he’d rather be on a summer’s day even if nobody else wanted to be there.
He didn’t believe in phone calls, he would just turn up. “We’ll take a spin out there.” He would say, and we all knew it was because he was awfully inquisitive and the side of him that loved a bit of devilment meant he loved catching people on the hop.
In the last few years of his life, Tony did not have it easy, nor did those who loved him, but his eyes never lost their signature sparkle. He is survived by his wife Francis, son Kevin and partner Breege (Castlebar), daughters Margaret Derrig (Moyhastin), Anita Carroll (Liscarney), Irene and Denise Derrig (Westport), brother Brendan Derrig (Tipperary), sisters-in-law, grandchildren - Olivia, Killian, Dylan, Cailin, Conor, Sam, Leah, Zoe, Ashleigh, Luca, Rhys, Robyn, great grandchild Ruben, cousins, nieces and nephews. We will never forget our beloved Tony, rest easy my friend. Love always, from everyone who had the privilege of knowing you.