Late Wexford town man Tom Roche packed a lot into 73 years
Tom Roche, who passed away aged 73 last week following an illness, grew up at Davitt Road South, in Wexford town and went to school at the Mercy. He worked for a time at Kelly's pub and at Joyces.
At the age of 17, he left for Liverpool to work with British Railways where he managed the daily preparation of the then coal-fuelled steam locomotives.
He stayed for five years before returning to Wexford and then went to Dublin, working for many years with Coca-Cola.
He lived first in Rathmines and then Dun Laoghaire where he and Deirdre raised Eoin. He later moved to Wexford from where he commuted to Dublin.
He made his life with Linda in Wexford following his retirement.
His son Eoin recalled his lifetime to the hundreds of people who came to Clonard Church for his funeral mass and then followed his coffin to Crosstown cemetery where he was laid to rest with his mother Bridget and his father Nick.
He recalled his generosity and his involvement with young people.
He thanked in particular, the medical and care staff at St. Mary's Ward in Wexford General Hospital for their kindness during his time there.
Fr Barry Larkin, who officiated at the funeral mass aided by Canon Cleary, of Hayestown, told the congregation of family, friends and local sporting, community and political leaders of how Tom was born within sight of the church and of the adjoining Wexford GAA Park and had packed a lot into his life of 73 years.
His late father Nick was groundsman at Wexford Park and the symbolism of Tom's lifetime following of the GAA, was the Wexford jersey which Linda's daughter-in-law Donna and grandchildren Adam, Rachel and Katie brought as a gift to the altar.
They brought also a red Liverpool scarf, a family photograph symbolising his love of family and trips away, a copy of The Racing Post showing his love of racing and his radio to symbolise his love of music and the songs inspired by his late mother Bridget.
Tom's nephew Declan Dempsey and Linda's son Martin Cleere gave the readings. Audrey Roche, Nicola Cleere and Joanne Cleere offered the prayers of the faithful.
His brothers Pat and Nick, along with Larry of the Wexford Light Opera Society and nephew Francis, accompanied by organist Ger Lawlor, sang many of Tom's favourite pieces, including the anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone'.
Tom's partner Linda Cleere, Wexford and his son Eoin with wife Audrey, Clonsilla, Co Dublin and Linda's sons Martin and Ian, wives Donna and Nicola and grand-children were among the mourners together with his sisters Elsie Dempsey of Rathaspeck, Phyllis, and her husband Tony from Maidenhead, England; brothers Nick and wife Mary, Leixlip; Larry and wife Kitty, Hayestown; Pat and wife Sheila, Dunleer, his sister-in law Maureen also of Leixlip and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Tom was pre-deceased by his brother John, the noted detective garda and singer.