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Mr. William (Willie) David Wallace McClean

Published: 22 Nov 2012 09:300 comments

A much loved husband, father, son and brother, Mr. William McClean, fondly known as Willie, of Drumleagues Big, Lisbellaw, passed away in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast on November 2, 2012, following a hunting accident in Co. Monaghan six days previously.

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The 51-year-old was rushed to Cavan Hospital on October 27 after he came off his horse during a hunt in Killeevan with the Fermanagh Harriers Hunt Club. He was later taken to the R.V.H., where he lost his fight for life.

A son of Mary McClean and the late William McClean, he was born in Monaghan and the family lived at Mullahara. He was educated at Ternamona National School, which was close to his home, and then Monaghan Collegiate.

In 1976, his family moved to Carrybridge, where Willie's late father William took over the Carrybridge boat company business, now run by Willie's brother Robert. Willie finished his education at Lisnaskea High School.

He went into a plumbing apprenticeship with T.W. Scott and Co. (managed by Cyril Kettyle). Around Cyril's retirement, Willie set up his own business as a plumbing and heating contractor, a business he ran for 20 years. Latterly, he diversified into agri contracting, ploughing and re-seeding. He purchased a bio baler which both round baled and wrapped and also a mower which enabled him to contract for round baling.

He married the former Shirley Flanagan and they set up home initially at Chanterhill, before moving to Farnamullan, Lisbellaw, where they lived for 11 years and where their three daughters were born - Rachel, Rebecca and Ruth. In 2000, they moved to Drumleagues Big.

Among Willie's interests were vintage machinery and his horse, Tamara. An excellent ploughman, he loved his tractors, particularly his New Holland. He was a vintage ploughman and his plough belonged to his father. He loved going to plough matches around Fermanagh, Tyrone, Cavan and Monaghan and he enjoyed attending the All Ireland Ploughing as a spectator.

When his children started horse riding, he also developed an interest in riding; his first horse was a Clydesdale 'Billy'. He enjoyed hunting and joined Fermanagh Harriers when his daughters were already members.

Willie's family was involved in the work of Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) Ireland and Jonathan Graham, a local worker, delivered a reading at the funeral.

Willie held a strong Christian faith and loved the Lord; this gives his family hope for the days ahead in that they know they will meet him again one day.

Remembered for his kindness, decency and generosity, he is described as a lovely gentleman who will be sadly missed.

The funeral service at Lisnaskea Independent Methodist Church was led by the Rev. David Campbell. Willie's daughter Ruth penned a poem while her father was in hospital and she read it out at his funeral with her two sisters at her side.

The hymns were Father I Place into Your Hands (Willie's favourite); Because He Lives (his wife Shirley's favourite) and Amazing Grace (which the family feels is well known and loved by all).

Members of Fermanagh Harriers Hunt Club and Erne Lakeland Riding Club formed a guard of honour outside the church in a tribute to Willie.

Burial took place in the Independent Methodist Church Cemetery, Tempo Road, Maguiresbridge, after which the ladies from Maguiresbridge Parish provided a lovely tea.

Willie is survived by his wife, Shirley, daughters, Rachel, Rebecca and Ruth. He leaves his mother, Mary, sister Hazel and brother Robert; his father-in-law, Billy, brother-in-law Nigel, sister-in-law Sharon and the wider family circle. Willie was predeceased by his father William in 1993, and by his mother-in-law Mary (Molly) in 2001.

Shirley and the family are very thankful to everyone for all their help and support, and particularly their prayers, during this very difficult time.

The funeral arrangements were by F.Dowler Ltd, Lisnaskea.

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