Community is saddened by the passing of Nicholas Devereux
PEOPLE THROUGHOUT the Broadway and Tacumshane areas were saddened recently to learn of the passing of Nicholas (Nick) Devereux, who lived in Ballymacane.
Born on November 19, 1921, at the Grange, Broadway, he was a son of John Devereux and Elizabeth Barry. Nick followed in the footsteps of his father and served his time in the forge, learning the trade of a blacksmith. However, farming was also a lifelong passion of his and he often spoke of the hardships associated with the profession.
Nick was a keen ploughman and such was his inherent skill and talent that he won a county title for ploughing.
He also had a lifelong passion for Gaelic games and took active participation throughout his life. When he stopped playing he remained involved and took up managing positions and administrative roles within his local club, Our Lady’s Island.
He worked very hard alongside other dedicated club members to build the organisation and he also had a passionate interest in county and national GAA.
Many stories were recalled to family members and friends of cycling trips to Dublin to attend matches with his brothers and friends.
As one family member told this newspaper: ‘The Sunday Game was sacrosanct in our home right up until the end’.
Nick married Phyllis Wright, of Sigginstown, in 1963, and the couple bought Ballymacane Farm - which is the site of a Norman Castle.
They had seven children, however, they suffered the bereavement of their youngest child, Adrian, when he was just four months old.
Nick worked hard with Phyllis to build up the farm, initially as a tillage operation with a focus on potatoes. In 1973 he built a milking parlour and began focussing on dairy, building up the herd year-by-year. Such was the success of the couple as dairy farmers that they won an award for being best milk producers in the county - securing the prestigious, Milk Producers’ Cup.
Nick was a disciplined man who believed that in order to achieve things in life one had to work hard - whether it was in school or in the work place and that outlook was something he passed on to his children.
A man of many interests he also raised and raced greyhounds.
He worked primarily with his close friend, Johnnie Marley, in raising and training dogs for the Irish, English and American tracks. It was an area Nick excelled in and he was blessed with a great talent for spotting a good dog early in the animal’s racing career.
He was also interested in politics and in particular, Fianna Fail. Nick was someone who took an active interest in his local community and over the years he was a member of various community and parish committees. He was also among those who spearheaded the local water scheme along with other community based initiatives.
Despite all of his interests it was family that always remained central to his life. Everything he did was with the aim of providing for his family and ensuring they were happy. Along with his wife, he worked hard to educate their sons and daughter and Nick always took an interest in the respective careers of all their children.
‘His hard work was born out of love for family,’ said one family member.
In latter years he took great interest in watching his grandchildren growing up and he loved their presence in the family home. As with his children he always encouraged his grandchildren in school, sport and personal development.
When he retired from farming he spent his days growing vegetables and fruit, gardening, and enjoying retirement with his family around him.
The high regard in which he and his family are held within the local community was highlighted by the large congregation of mourners who gathered in St. Catherine’s Church, Tacumshane, for his Requiem Mass.
Nick is survived by his wife, Phyllis, sons, Fr. Sean, Paul, Noel, Kieran, and Eamon, daughter, Siobhan, sisters, Sr. Genieve, Peg, Betty and Nora, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and large circle of friends.
The late Nicholas (Nick) Devereux