Councillor Oliver Tully's coffin is carried into the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Termonfeckin this morning by family members as local political representatives and people from the world of golf and hundreds of the people he served throughout his political career looked on.
One of the largest funerals ever seen in these parts took place this morning when the communities of Baltray and Termoneckin gathered at the Church of the Immaculate Conception to say farewell to Councillor Oliver Tully, a local man who had been at the heart of the community for many years.
As a County Councillor Oliver was a great advocate for the area and he worked tirelessly on behalf of the people who he looked upon not so much as constituents but as neighbours and friends.
Many people in the congregation today had stories to tell of Oliver’s generosity and his dedicated service to the community. A phrase that cropped up time and again was that he was “a true gentleman” and it is testament to that description of him that it was spoken by people of every political persuasion.
Well known and popular as he was in political circles, Oliver was first and foremost a family man and Father Paul Clayton Lea hit the nail on the head when he said during his homily that while there were many heavy hearts in Termonfeckin today, the heaviest was that of Oliver’s darling wife of 47 years Eileen.
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Oliver was a man who adored his family and was not afraid to admit it. This reporter had the pleasure of visiting his home at Baltray on a couple of occasions and both times he took great joy in showing me the latest photos of his grandchildren. He was an easy man to love because what you saw was what you got, there was no ulterior motive with Oliver.
He was also very generous with both his time and his advice and there were many instances of this generosity spoken about today.
Again Father Clayton Lea was spot on when he told the huge congregation that Oliver was a humble man who believed in justice and worked quietly to achieve his goals on behalf of the community and in doing so he improved the quality of life for his people. No political representative could ask for a better epitaph.
Father Clayton Lea said that he, like many in the community, found it difficult to accept that Oliver’s life had halted so abruptly on Tuesday last. He said that it had left a gaping wound in the heart of the Tully family and the wider community also.
He said that as a teacher Oliver had a firm but fair way of dealing with difficult situations and as result many former students from St. Joseph’s School where he taught would seek him out for advice long after they had left the school.
The evidence of Oliver’s work for the community is all around us, from the bridge at Termonfeckin to the beloved strand where he sadly passed away on Tuesday. It is also in the minds of the many people he helped over the years
“Our world has never needed people like Oliver Tully as much as it does today” Fr. Clayton Lea concluded.
Well said Father Paul, well said. Oliver’s big heart that cared for the lives of others, especially his family, beats no more and he will be sorely missed.