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On the 6th August (Feast of the Transfiguration) Michael John was laid to rest. In the Book of Psalms (Old Testament) we read that man’s life span on this earth is seventy years or eighty for those who are strong. God blessed Michael John with a long and active life. He reached the venerable age of 80.

When Michael John left the National School in the Thirties there were no Secondary Schools in small towns, so he worked with his father James, a gentle and soft spoken man in the carpenter’s shop, making carts for the farmers. This was long before the jet age.

While he was a keen fisherman his first great love was the game of hurling. He was a strong, tall muscular figure on the hurling field but never once did he use his strength to intimidate a weaker or smaller opponent. Michael John was no stranger to death. As an undertaker he accompanied many a neighbour and lifelong friend to their last resting place.

I’m sure he is now looking down on his beloved “Fields of Athenry” and is praying for all of us. May his gentle soul rest in peace!

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Written by B Duffy

Published here 09 Feb 2021 and originally published December 1996

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