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
9 Dec 2013 21:45
Two local boat owners have been prosecuted for leaving their motor cruisers moored at the Round ‘O’ public jetty in Enniskillen for longer than 48 hours.
9 Dec 2013 18:45
Pupils from Ballinamallard Primary School have won a poster competition to highlight road safety.
9 Dec 2013 15:30
A 50-year-old farmer seen staggering across a road, getting into a vehicle and starting the engine, had no intention of driving, Fermanagh Court has been told.
9 Dec 2013 12:50 • Editorial Department
Out of all the seasons, driving in the winter requires the most care and preparation.
9 Dec 2013 08:30 • Editorial Department
Opportunities were afforded for people to ‘find out more about tracing their family history and the history of their local community’ at a recent Family History Fair in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen.
8 Dec 2013 21:30 • Editorial Department
Police launched their Christmas campaign against drinking and driving with a zero tolerance message of: “Not even one - because just one drink can kill.”
8 Dec 2013 18:30 • Meadhbh Monahan
Q: What is ‘entrepreneurship education’ and how is it being fostered in South West College? - Yvonne South West College is the only Northern Irish member of the Gazelle Group; a recognisable cluster of entrepreneurial colleges across the UK.
8 Dec 2013 14:30 • Editorial Department
A 32-year-old pregnant mother of three has lost her baby while in prison awaiting trial for the burglary of the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.
8 Dec 2013 12:00 • Editorial Department
First place in this year’s Soroptimist International Enniskillen and District Annual Youth Award Public Speaking Competition was awarded to Siobhan Kerr, a pupil at Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School.
8 Dec 2013 09:00 • Editorial Department
The first woman to be appointed a bishop in the Anglican church in the British Isles, has local connections.
7 Dec 2013 20:30 • Editorial Department
A 23-year-old man had his teeth knocked out in what he claimed was a “sectarian” attack in Lisnaskea last Christmas.
7 Dec 2013 19:49 • Meadhbh Monahan
“I was beaten with a baseball bat with nails on it, in the dark, at 4am; [deciding whether to protest at a frack site] is a big challenge for parents and a big decision to make.” That was one message given to over 100 people who attended a Ban Fracking Fermanagh meeting in the Railway Hotel today (Saturday), from Tara Canon from Bundoran, who protested for two years against a motorway going through The Hill of Tara in County Meath.
7 Dec 2013 17:16
Ballinamallard claimed the points at Ferney Park today as Davy Kee's 69th minute goal earned them the victory against Ards.
7 Dec 2013 14:15 • Rodney Edwards
A man in his early fifties has died following an accident in Lisnaskea this morning (Saturday).
7 Dec 2013 14:00 • Editorial Department
FERMANAGH District Council has vowed to stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the workers at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in Enniskillen following the news that the organisation has introduced a voluntary redundancy scheme.
7 Dec 2013 11:30 • Rodney Edwards
A YOUNG mother struggling to keep her home warm turns the heating off when her children are out and wears an extra jumper.
7 Dec 2013 09:00 • Editorial Department
HEALTH Minister Edwin Poots says he will continue to challenge the Western Trust when he needs to get answers on issues in Fermanagh.
6 Dec 2013 21:30 • Julie Kenwell
A substantial infestation of Japanese knotweed could spell “dire consequences” for Fermanagh property owners, a weed management company has warned.
6 Dec 2013 18:00 • Lily Dane
‘One hundred years young’ would certainly be an apt description for sprightly centenarian, James McDonnell, from outside Irvinestown.
6 Dec 2013 17:00
Our photographer John McVitty captured this stunning rainbow which appeared over Cornagrade in Enniskillen this afternoon.