Tributes paid to huntsman who dies after fall
Published: 8 Nov 2012 13:000 comments
Described as a "kind and generous gentleman" who was passionate about horses and vintage tractors, Mr McClean's funeral was held at Lisnaskea Independent Methodist Church.
The father of three had been rushed to Cavan Hospital on Saturday, October 27, after he came off his horse, Tamara during a hunt in Killeevan with the Fermanagh Harriers Hunt Club.
He was later taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
It is understood his eldest daughter, Rachel was marking her 21st birthday last Friday (November 2) when Mr McClean lost his fight for life.
As a mark of respect to the man who had been a member with the club for four seasons, Fermanagh Harriers formed a guard of honour outside the church yesterday.
Photographs in the church documenting the most important parts of his life including his family, friends, his horse and his vintage machinery were displayed as a visual tribute to Mr McClean.
According to Johnny Vance of the Harriers Club, the plumber by trade had only jumped his first fence when the tragic accident occurred.
"It is sad how a family can be changed forever in a matter of seconds," he said, "Willie was one of the kindest, most decent and generous people you would ever hope to meet.
"He was a lovely gentleman. He will be very sadly missed.
"Staff at both hospitals were so kind and thoughtful too, and did all they could for him."
Mr McClean discovered his passion for hunting later on in life, thanks to his three girls, Rachel, Rebecca and Ruth.
His wife Shirley fully supported his past-time.
"Shirley was super supportive of him in his riding," said Mr. Vance, "She is devastated. Willie has been taken from this world too soon and she will miss him terribly. But she accepts that it is God's will that he was taken."
Jonathan Gallagher, local worker for Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) Ireland, provided a reading at yesterday's funeral.
The McClean family are deeply involved in the organisation's work locally.
"The family's faith has kept them going throughout all of this," he said, "And they know that one day they will be reunited with Willie. There will be long, lonely days ahead but at least they have that assurance.
"His youngest daughter Ruth had written a poem while her father was in hospital. She read it out at the funeral with the support of her two sisters at her side. It was so touching and God gave her the strength when she needed it most to be able to read it out."
Mr Gallagher said Mr McClean was well-known as an excellent plough man.
"He loved his tractors. His pride and joy was his New Holland. He was a vintage plough man, his plough belonged to his father.
"He couldn't drive a car because he had problems with his eyesight but he had the licence for the tractor so if Shirley couldn't leave him down to a hunt he would think nothing of putting the horsebox on to the tractor and driving down. He was known Ireland-wide as the man who would drive his tractor down to a hunt. Nothing would stand in his way."
He said the McClean family, including his brother Robert and sister Hazel had taken comfort from the number of messages of support and sympathy which had been sent from family and friends.
"Robert and Hazel could not believe the amount of texts and Facebook comments that had come in from people from all arts and parts offering their support and sympathy."
Mr McClean, is survived by his wife Shirley, daughters Rachel, Rebecca and Ruth, his sister, Hazel and brother, Robert and his mother, Mary. He is predeceased by his father, the late William McClean.
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
23 Apr 2014 15:35
A car was stolen during a so-called “creeper burglary” at Raceview Court near the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen.
23 Apr 2014 13:15
LOCAL people are invited to meet at Castle Archdale at 5am on Saturday, May 3, to listen to the birds welcome the new day in fine voice.
23 Apr 2014 11:30
A radio DJ will bring her fundraising marathon challenge to Fermanagh this June in aid of Cancer Research UK.
23 Apr 2014 09:30
Arsonists are being blamed for starting around 15 gorse fires in the Garrison and Belcoo area since the beginning of April.
22 Apr 2014 17:00
Ballinamallard United slipped into the bottom two in the Danske Bank Premiership on goal difference following today's 2-2 draw with Dungannon Swifts at Ferney Park.
22 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
The rites of passage of growing up vary from person to person but throughout my own life events such as turning 13, my first formal, my GCSE and A level results, my 18th birthday (and my first and to date only hangover that followed), getting into university and moving away from home are just a few which I imagine are pretty common landmarks among my generation.
22 Apr 2014 15:00
A car was broken into at Navar Forest near Derrygonnelly last night (Monday).
22 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards
FARMERS in Fermanagh are being encouraged by the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in Enniskillen to take part in the Farm Watch Scheme, an initiative endorsed by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill.
22 Apr 2014 12:00
A house in Lisnaskea has been attacked.
22 Apr 2014 11:00 • Rodney Edwards
A NUMBER of people in Fermanagh have been fined £75 for “dropping a cigarette butt or a sweet paper” on the street, according to UUP MLA Tom Elliott.
22 Apr 2014 09:00
A 47-year-old factory worker has admitted fraudulently using a certificate of car insurance by showing it to the police, knowing it had been cancelled.
21 Apr 2014 22:30
A 20-year-old man thought he was being “sensible” when he got behind the wheel of a crashed car to drive it home.
21 Apr 2014 19:00
A 30-year-old car dealer caught driving without insurance four times in two weeks despite paying out £3,500 in premiums has been given a jail sentence.
21 Apr 2014 17:30
Unemployment in Fermanagh fell by 2.4 per cent last month.
21 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
Liam Connolly Road Freight (LCRF) provides groupage services (i.e. from single pallet collections to full double-deck trailer collections) for over 300 customers throughout Ireland and the UK each day.
21 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards
THE work of Enniskillen’s two main church leaders, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, has received a warm acknowledgement from yet another head of state.
21 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department
“WE are not against a community centre, we just don’t want it on our doorstep.”
20 Apr 2014 19:00
Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.
20 Apr 2014 15:00 • Julie Kenwell
THE family of Bellanaleck toddler, Alfie Keys are nervously looking ahead to this September.
20 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
Extreme risks have been identified by the Western Trust which could “compromise client safety” or even lead to “injury or death of patients or staff”.