EN­NIS­COR­THY BIDS FAREWELL TO MUCH-LOVED TONY WICK­HAM

Enniscorthy Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

EN­NIS­COR­THY was in mourn­ing last week fol­low­ing the news of the pass­ing of an­other gen­uine stal­wart of the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity.

Part of the very fab­ric of En­nis­cor­thy, Tony Wick­ham ran the butcher’s shop in Mar­ket Square for many years be­fore pass­ing the reins to his son Mark. He sadly passed away on Fri­day morn­ing fol­low­ing com­pli­ca­tions aris­ing from a knee-re­place­ment surgery, hav­ing just cel­e­brated 50 years of mar­riage to his heart­bro­ken wife Betty days be­fore.

There was a mas­sive out­pour­ing of grief in the lo­cal com­mu­nity af­ter the news of Tony’s pass­ing broke over the week­end and a huge crowd gath­ered at David­stown Church on Sun­day to pay their re­spects. Trib­utes were paid and mem­o­ries shared of a man who was in­volved in nearly ev­ery facet of life in the town.

Tony set up shop in Mar­ket Square back in 1961 hav­ing learned the ropes in Bren­nan’s of Car­low and Vaughan’s in En­nis­cor­thy. As well as hav­ing the butcher’s shop, there was a small pub in the back and in the evenings, Tony would swap the butcher’s apron for the bar, en­joy­ing great craic and maybe even the odd game of cards with the reg­u­lars. Highly thought of among his cus­tomers, Tony loved noth­ing more than to have a chat with peo­ple who passed through the shop as he sorted them out with their meat for the week.

Fol­low­ing the big fire at neigh­bour­ing Mur­phy Floods Ho­tel in 2005, Tony opted to step away from the busi­ness, hand­ing over the reins to his son Mark fol­low­ing the shop’s re-open­ing. This gave Tony more time to fo­cus on his fam­ily. A real fam­ily man, he was the beloved hus­band of Betty and fa­ther to Mark and Noreen. A real love story, the pair were friends grow­ing up be­fore ro­mance blos­somed and they were mar­ried on Novem­ber 5, 1967. Tony lived for his chil­dren and, later in life, his six grand­chil­dren, who he was al­ways on call to lend a help­ing hand with and loved to spend time with.

An ex­tremely ac­tive man, Tony loved sports. He had a pas­sion for ath­let­ics and ran a to­tal of 11 marathons in his time - 10 in Dublin and one in New York. He also took a great in­ter­est in the hurl­ing, box­ing and even man­aged to fit in the odd round of golf. He was a great be­liever in char­ity and reg­u­larly made the trip to Lour­des to help out in any way he could and he and friends also pre­vi­ously raised funds to go to Gam­bia to meet up with Fr John O’Reilly and help with the con­struc­tion of a new school there.

Al­ways a friendly face, the lo­cal com­mu­nity held a spe­cial place in its heart for Tony and this was ev­i­denced by the mas­sive turnout at the fu­neral home and at David­stown Church for his fu­neral mass.

‘We were ab­so­lutely blown away by the level of sup­port we’ve re­ceived in the last few days,’ said daugh­ter Noleen. ‘ The amount of peo­ple that passed through the doors of the fu­neral home over the week­end was un­real. It was lovely to see that he meant that much to so many peo­ple and it makes it a lit­tle eas­ier for the fam­ily to think that he was so highly thought of. They say com­mu­nity spirit is dead in En­nis­cor­thy, well I can as­sure you it’s not.’

Fol­low­ing an emo­tional fu­neral ser­vice, Tony was laid to rest in David­stown Ceme­tery. He is sur­vived by his lov­ing wife Betty, daugh­ter Noreen, son Mark, sib­lings Ellen, Michael, Pa­trick, Cather­ine and Mary (Tony was pre-de­ceased by the late Jack and Jimmy); aunt Ellen McIn­er­ney, son-in-law Jay, daugh­ter-in-law Kel­ley, grand­chil­dren rel­a­tives and a large cir­cle of friends gath­ered over the years.

May he rest in peace.

The late Tony Wick­ham.

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