A well-known member of the Irvinestown community, Mr. John Wallace (Jack) Daly, late of Kesh Road, Irvinestown, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 11, 2017, after a short illness at South West Acute Hospital. He had suffered a heart attack the previous Sunday which was the first anniversary of the passing of his late wife, June. He was 79 years old.

Jack Daly was born on June 14, 1938 in Rockcorry, Co. Monaghan, the youngest of three children to Robert Henry Daly and Lucy (nee Gilroy). Jack attended Kilmore National School and Dundalk Grammar School. His father was a watchmaker and worked in nearby Cootehill in Co. Cavan.

In March 1958 Jack commenced training at the RUC Depot in Enniskillen. He was posted first to Tempo and later Lisnaskea. In 1960 he married June Rolston who came from Clones in Co. Monaghan. As a result of this Jack was posted to Irvinestown where he was to spend the rest of his police career. Their first home was at Pound Street and in 1970 they moved up to the Kesh Road. Two children were born during their time in Pound Street – Selwyn and Soraya.

In 1972 Jack’s mother died after a period of illness at her home in Co. Monaghan. The ‘troubles’ were particularly bad at that time and a number of serving RUC officers had been murdered whilst visiting their family across the Border. Some neighbours offered Jack their car so that he could travel back and forth to see his mother during her final days. Plain clothes armed Garda stood around the graveyard on the day of the funeral.

In April 1977 Jack and his wife attended a Gospel mission at Manoo Hall. As a result of that mission Jack called (while in uniform) on April 26 at the home of the preacher, Robert Maxwell, who pointed him to the Lord. Jack’s wife had trusted the Lord for Salvation just two days previously.

Jack had been 24 years in Irvinestown when he suffered his first heart attack in 1984 and as a result of that he was medically discharged from the force. It is an understatement to say that Jack Daly loved being the local constable and he loved the people of the town. It was not uncommon for people to call at his house or to ring him at home if the local station was closed.

He had an old-style approach to policing and this was referred to by Roy Robinson who paid a tribute to him at the funeral service.

Mr. Robinson told the story of a young constable who was put under the supervision of Jack Daly. After a while the young constable was summoned by the Sergeant to explain why he had no detections to which he explained that while Jack Daly was his senior Constable he was not likely to get any!

Many people received a caution or advice and warning rather than being brought before the courts. Many parents were thankful that it was Jack Daly who brought their son home to them rather than receiving a summons through the post.

Earlier this year Jack supplied a lot of material for a booklet on the history of policing in Irvinestown which was published just a couple of months ago.

Many friends, neighbours and former colleagues attended the funeral at Ballycassidy House and each had their own personal memories of Jack Daly which they shared with the family. 

The funeral service was led by Mr. Nathan McVeigh, a student in the Whitefield College of the Bible, who is married to Jack Daly’s eldest grandchild, Melissa. 

The preacher was a long-time friend of Jack’s, Mr. Graham Anderson, who spoke on the words of Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Mrs. Nula Robinson sang the hymn Brightly beams our Father’s Mercy which she had often sang to Jack when visiting him. Pastor Trevor Caldwell also took part. The service at the graveside at the Independent Methodist Cemetery in Maguiresbridge was conducted by the Rev. Ivan Foster.

Jack Daly is much missed by his son Selwyn, daughter Soraya, daughter in law Ruth, son in law Norman; grandchildren Melissa, Malcolm, Reuben, Naomi, Philip and Matthew; and great grandchildren Kezia, Charlie, Shiloh, Julia, Joanna and Matthew.

The funeral arrangements were by Austen Stinson (W.T. Morrison), Darling Street, Enniskillen.