The family of the late Tony Jackman has led tributes to the popular South Fermanagh man, following his death on May 26, aged 79. Tony was well-known across Fermanagh for his involvement in hurling in Lisnaskea.

Tony’s eldest son, Paul Jackman, described him as a “very supportive and encouraging father”.

Paying tribute to his father, Paul said: “He was very supportive and encouraging of all of us, and he gave us free rein to do our own things.

“He was very supportive of us in terms of music and sport, but he was firm at the same time, like many parents of that generation.”

Paul then reflected on Tony’s outlook on life. He said: “The one thing he held above most other things was he held a respect for all people – he was very firm in his belief that everyone needed to be respected, no matter what your religion was or what your colour was, everybody was the same to him.”

Tony married Anna Curran in 1964 and the pair had six children: Paul, Niall, Dónall, Tina, Sinead and Sean.

Tony and his family had lived at the Knocks, Lisnaskea for more than 30 years and were deeply respected in the community.

Tony was born on September 14, 1941 to John and Margaret Jackman and grew up in the townland of Tier Hill on the Fermanagh-Monaghan border.

Speaking on Tony’s working life, Paul said his father was “mad into cars and machinery”.

Tony spent most of his working life in the haulage industry, driving for companies including Inglis’s Bakery, Clarke’s Quarry, and Bretton’s, and from the 1970s he worked for Seamus McBrien as part of Target Express, where he spent more than 25 years working as a driver and as a Depot Manager in Nutts Corner and Newtownbutler.

Tony had many interests throughout his life, including horses and hurling, as Paul explained.

“He was big into horses and was brought up around horses; he had a love of them and looked after them like pups.

“He had a tractor for looking after them, which led him to be nicknamed ‘Tractor Tony’ by his great-grandchildren.” His horses were known to be referred to as ‘Tony’s ponies’.

Tony inherited a love of hurling from his Kilkenny-born father and cared passionately about the sport, particularly Kilkenny hurling. He helped relaunch a hurling club in Lisnaskea.

Paul said: “He reformed Lisnaskea Emmetts Hurling Club in the Eighties. He was president from 1984 to 2006, and mainly looked after the underage hurlers. He was passionate about the U-14s level; he absolutely loved working with them.

“He also took the Senior teams at times, as there was no-one else to manage them,” Paul said.

Tony was later made an Honorary President of the hurling club.

Paul also described a man of “strong faith who never missed Mass”.

Due to Covid-19 regulations there were restrictions on Tony’s funeral attendance, but Paul described how “the people of the Knocks and Lisnaskea came out to bid him farewell”.

‘Amazing guard of honour’

He added: “There was an absolutely amazing guard of honour from the underage hurling teams that myself and my brother managed, and the older hurlers who we would have played with. They all came out for a guard of honour. He’d have been very proud of that.”

Tony’s Funeral Mass took place on May 28 at Holy Cross Church, Lisnaskea, with Canon Jimmy McPhillips as the celebrant. He was buried in the adjoining church yard and funeral arrangements were carried out by Swift and McCaffrey Funeral Directors.