The death has taken place of Tom Maguire, Coragh Derrylin, who has been described by his family as a man “who just loved meeting and talking to people”. Tom will be dearly missed by his wife of almost 47 years, Teresa, with the couple, according to family, “rarely apart”.

Speaking to the Impartial Reporter yesterday Tom’s son Brian explained that the loss had hit the family very hard. Tom passed in the early hours of Sunday morning after a sudden illness.

Tom is survived by his wife Teresa, his sons Brian and Kieran and his daughter Helen.

One of a family of 14, he is survived by three brothers and eight sisters with two brothers, Brian and Charles predeceasing him.

Tom doted on his seven grandchildren, Lewis, Ollie, Jodie, Cahir, Sean, Conor and Grace. And was always happiest among family and friends including daughter in law’s Joanne and Michelle and son in law Kristan.

Through his work and his passion for the GAA, he was a well-known figure to many throughout the county and further afield.

He worked for the Electricity Board before taking up a position with Fermanagh District Council where he worked as a pest controller up until his retirement on December 31, 2013.

“His job meant he got to meet a lot of different people and he loved that,” his son Brian explained.

“He loved to socialise really. And go to dances and he was often the last person to leave an event. He just loved being among people.”

One of Tom’s big passions in life was the GAA. He had played for Boho St. Fabers as a half back before going on to have a long association with Derrylin. He was also a familiar face around the GAA grounds of Ireland as he worked as a steward on big match days.

“Croke Park, Clones, Brewster Park, the Athletic Grounds, Casement Park when it was open. He stewarded at them all and he loved that,” his son Brian explained.

“His day would start early and he would be gone most of it but he loved it and again it was being able to meet people and talk to people that was so important to him.”

He and his wife Teresa were keen travellers and since Tom’s retirement in 2013 the couple were rarely apart.

“He was very mechanically minded and was able to fix things and he was always helping out family and neighbours in that regard and when he would go to do jobs, mammy would normally go with him. They loved spending time together,” Brian explained.

One of the couple’s favourite routines was to walk from their house in Coragh, Derrylin, in and around the village of Derrylin and back home to their house, with the walk often happily interrupted by talking to friends and neighbours who they met along the way.

And those friends and neighbours paid their respects to Tom on his passing, even these restricted Covid-19 times that we are living in. With only 10 people permitted at the funeral there was a socially distanced guard of honour, made of neighbours, football clubs and friends as Tom’s funeral cortege made its way from his home to St Ninnidh’s Church in Derrylin.

Tom’s family were keen to thank those who have supported them during this time including the staff at the Belfast City Hospital, neighbours and friends and Tom’s brothers and sisters. Tom is further survived by his brothers Patsy, Peter and Brendan and sisters Josie, Agnes, Geraldine, Angela, Ann, Mary, Rita, and Pauline.

The funeral mass took place on Tuesday at St. Ninnidh’s Church, Derrylin followed by burial in adjoining cemetery with Pat Blake Funeral Director carrying out the arrangements.