The son of Sean Drumm who died in a tragic accident in Derrylin said the family are devastated with the passing of their husband and father who was a highly respected figure in GAA and boating circles.

69-year-old Sean, slipped and fell into icy water at his marina on Corraquill Lough where he ran Corraquill Cruising Holidays with his wife, Mary.

His body was recovered a short time later and his son Ronan said the family were relieved he was found so quickly.“It was comforting he was found that night,” said Ronan.

“The conditions, a freezing cold night, the thought of him being under overnight or God knows how many more; it was comforting he was found in the first number of hours.

“We have huge respect for the efforts of the search and rescue services that attended from all over Ireland there was reports that there was over 60 in attendance.”

And despite his 69 years, Ronan described his father as a “big strong man” who looked younger than his years. This strength would have been honed on the gaelic field as well in Tug O War and bodybuilding which were a big part of his early life.

“To us he didn’t look like a 69 year old. He was in good health and was a big strong man. We definitely thought there would be another 10 years in him,” said Ronan.

Ronan said boating was his father’s passion after football and being so close to the water it was natural that he would work on the water.

“He worked all his life at boats and it was his passion. Where we are located here, with the canal system, it was ideal and he was beside the water. I can’t recall how it all started but he took to it and he loved it.”

Beside boating Sean’s other passion was the GAA and his love for it was passed down through to his sons, especially for Teemore Shamrocks, their local club where Sean won five Senior Championship medals over a 30 year playing career.

“It was huge for him. He played when he was younger and that Teemore team back then were obviously very successful in the late 60s and early 70s. He brought us up to know nothing else only the club.”

Sean had a huge respect for the current Dublin team which recently won an unprecedented sixth consecutive All-Ireland. “He just loved the way they played football, the old fashioned kick and catch.” Ronan recalls how his father would make an annual pilgrimage to Croke Park for All-Ireland Final day: “One story my mother has mentioned is he used to go to the All-Ireland every year with his good friend Jim Cassidy.

“They would go away on a Saturday, stay the night in Dublin, go to the match and they would be home on the Sunday evening making sure they were home for The Sunday Game at half nine. Then the next day he’d be running to get the paper. Mammy was laughing saying you’d think he wasn’t at the game. He couldn’t get enough of it. It didn’t matter who was playing he went to the All-Ireland.”

At a time when Covid restrictions mean the traditional send off is not possible, Ronan says the family has drawn huge comfort from the messages and support they have received in recent days and it showed just how many people respected Sean.

“He crossed a lot of paths with different people especially those in the football and the boating community. We are just astounded. It’s hard to put into words people’s kindness. People rallied around here the local GAA club and community bringing food, gritting, erecting lights etc.

“Everybody is helping with anything they can do. It’s just the usual scenario in times of hardship everybody rallies round each other.”

Ronan paid thanks to those who have sent their condolences in recent days especially in the GAA community with messages coming in from all over the county for his father.

“We are just overwhelmed by people’s messages, saying how he was so well liked,” added Ronan.

Teemore Shamrocks paid tribute to Sean with a post on their Facebook page saying the club were “deeply saddened and heartbroken” by the sudden passing of Sean. Sean wore the Shamrocks jersey for over 30 years winning five Senior Championships in a decorated career.”

Sean’s funeral was held in St. Mary’s Church, Teemore on Wednesday, January 6 followed by burial at the adjoining cemetery. Deeply regretted and sadly missed by his wife Mary (nee Melanophy), sons Ronan and Colm, their partners Aideen and Tara, grandson Aodhán, brother Francis and sisters Moira, Sheila, Rosaleen, Carmel and Christina, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.