THE ANNUAL threshing festival at Ahern’s pub in Bunkey, Newport will go ahead this weekend despite the tragic death of its proprietor.
The month’s mind Mass of John Ahern takes place at 7.30pm this Friday, October 2. On Sunday the threshing will go ahead at 3pm.
“It is what he would have wanted,” said Teresa, John’s beloved wife of 36 years.
In those almost four decades they never had “a cross word” said Teresa. On Wednesday, September 2 the 67-year-old was engaged in doing “what he loved best” when the cab of a vintage lorry fell on him at his machinery workshop at the rear of his residence in Ballymackeogh.
The late John was a quiet, hard-working and highly respected family man. He continued a long family farming history and had run a top-class silage harvesting operation, while maintaining all his own machinery to an impeccable standard.
John could turn his hands to anything. A gifted musician, he could play the button accordion, violin and piano. He had wonderful ear for music – when he heard a song once he could play it.
John had a passion for farm machinery and was a prominent FCI (Association of Farm Contractors in Ireland) member. He was a well-known collector and restorer of tractors and vintage machinery – in particular Nuffield, Leyland and Marshall brands as well as British-built trucks.
He also carried on the family tradition of old style threshing with his brother Martin for the past 28 years. The brothers were very close and most Sundays would head off to a vintage rally or show. As well as the pub – which has been in the family since 1937 – John worked on the farm. He was as fit and healthy a 67-year-old that you could ever meet.
People poured into Meehan’s funeral home from 3.45pm to 11.30pm to pay their respects. Mass cards continue to come in the letter box with 400 already received. His death has left a deep imprint on the local community
His family and friends will forever hold many fond memories of him. John will be dearly missed by his loving wife Teresa, daughters Aisling and Deirdre, sons Michael and John Christopher, brothers PJ, Martin, (predeceased by Joe), sisters Mary and Breda, extended family and wide circle of friends.
The threshing on Sunday will be a poignant occasion for everyone who knew him. All are welcome to attend. The traditional mill, which had been restored by John, was used by his father Martin threshing corn on farms all over the area during the middle years of the last century.