Monday 23 October 2017

Aidan Roche of Barntown touched people's lives in a positive way

The late Aidan Roche.
The late Aidan Roche.

On the evening of December 17 2015, Aidan Roche of Ballygoman, Barntown died peacefully in his home surrounded by his family, after a period of illness.

Aidan was born in Assagart, Foulksmills in 1940 to John and Mary Kate, the middle of nine children. His sisters Marie and Veronica and his brothers George and Benny survive him. In 1970 he married and moved to Barntown, where he built his family home and dairy farm. He was a loving husband to his wonderful wife Kathleen and a great father to John, Aidan, Ciarán, Paul, Karina and Mícheál. Kathleen was the love of his life and they recently celebrated their forty-fifth wedding anniversary together. He enjoyed spending time with his eleven grandchildren.

Aidan was greatly loved and respected. He felt it was a privilege to help others and gained great pleasure in being able to do so. He was often asked for advice from family, neighbours and friends. He was honest and discrete.

Aidan never walked when he could run and seemed to have endless energy. He loved sport, dancing and local history. Aidan took great pride in his surroundings. The colour in his garden was vibrant all year round. When not tending to his own garden, he might often be found planting flower beds in his daughter Karina's garden. In the midst of all his interests, family was central. He assisted in researching the Roche Family Tree publication in 2010.

Aidan was known throughout the country for his success as a greyhound owner and trainer. He spoke very warmly about the greyhound community. He had great successes over several decades with his dogs. A lifetime dream was achieved in winning the Boyle Sports Greyhound Derby in 2009 with Kingsmill Dynamo, a dog he trained and owned with his son John.

Aidan loved the GAA, playing until he was 44 years of age. In 2012 he was honoured with a Seana Ghael Loch Garman Award in recognition of his distinguished career in both hurling and football; "He was a master of all the skills, his speed, his fleetness of foot, his balance, his ball control and vision combined with his consummate ability were features which endeared him to friend and foe alike." He won the Junior Football County Final in 1970 with Clongeen, a memory that he carried all his life. He joined Glynn-Barntown in 1976, and won the Junior Hurling title that year. He was a central player on the Glynn-Barntown team that won the Football Final in 1982.

He held various key positions on the club's committees. He put huge work into building the club's underage structure and he trained numerous teams that won underage finals. Many of these players were the backbone of the team that won the parish's only Senior Football County Final in 1996. He was very proud to see his sons Ciarán, Paul and Mícheál wear the purple and gold. Aidan and Kathleen travelled the length and breadth of the country to watch their children play.

Aidan was an active member of the Barntown community. He was on the first Board of Management of Barntown National School and he was one of the key persons responsible for the new school that was constructed in 1981.

Aidan was fit and healthy, was committed to his faith and a pioneer all his life. Even in illness he was very positive and good-humoured. With Kathleen by his side at all times, he enjoyed welcoming friends into his home to the very end. Aidan and his family took great comfort from the many visitors and from the exceptional care provided by the Wexford Home Care Team.

On Saturday 19th of December, a large crowd turned out despite the wind and rain to bid farewell to Aidan in Barntown cemetery following a moving Requiem Mass. Aidan had a wonderful life and touched a great number of people's lives in a positive way. He will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Wexford People