OVER 1,000 people gathered at the foothills of the Galtee mountains this Wednesday afternoon to say a fond farewell to one of the area’s most famous sons John Gallahue.
Inside the walls of Anglesboro Church mourners heard stories of John the politician,John the poet, John the piper and John the family man.
“He praised and loved and cherished each of his grandchildren, and enquired about their sport, their recreation, and their education. He had great fun with them,” said Ballylanders Parish Priest Fr John O’Neill who was one of 10 priests who con-celebrated the mass of the former cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council.
The 70-year-old died peacefully on Sunday afternoon at his home at Ballyfaskin, Ballylanders after a long battle with illness.
Mourners who couldn’t find standing room in Anglesboro Church were redirected into the local hall where the funeral mass of the popular figure was televised live on a big screen.
The esteem in which the Anglesboro native was held was evident from the cross-section of people who attended including political figures, sporting figures and community representatives.
Gifts brought to the altar during the Mass by his grandchildren and friends were a reminder of a full and varied life.
There were books and a pen - a symbol of John Gallahue the poet and author, a newspaper symbolising his interest in current affairs, bagpipes- a reminder of the many days he played with the Liam Lynch Memorial Pipe Band and a picture of John with the cathaoirleach’s chain draped proudly around his shoulders.
Being elected cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, was the highlight of his political career, mourners hear.
In an emotional tribute to his father, John’s son Tom , said that his father, was, above all, “a true friend”.