He loved meeting people: Limerick man Gerard Houlihan makes his final journey

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

The late Gerard Houlihan

The late Gerard Houlihan

AS the sun went down at around 9.30pm on Monday night the remains of the late Gerard Houlihan left Daffy’s Funeral Home in Kilmallock led by two horses.

With his grandchildren Conal and Kate at the reins, leading the way, Gerard made his final journey to his home on The Green Road where he had lived for the past 82 years.

The popular farmer - father of All-Star hurler Mike - had four big loves in his life - his family, farming, horses and hurling.

And these loves were very evident both at the removal on Monday and the funeral Mass on Tuesday.

A photo of Gerard and his late wife Joan greeted mourners as they slowly shuffled their way into the funeral home. A straw hat - some 60 years old - which Gerard would wear on fine summer days, either on the farm or at a horse fair, was brought to the altar along with a hurley and a newspaper.

“Gerard loved meeting people. He knew everybody. In recent years he loved going to the nursing home to visit old friends of his,” said Canon Willie Fitzmaurice, PP Croom who previously served in Kilmallock.

Canon Fitzmaurice celebrated the funeral Mass at noon on Tuesday in Ss Peter and Paul’s Church in Kilmallock. Gerard had reposed overnight on Monday at his home on The Green Road.

“His wife Joan died around 25 years ago. She was a member of the Quaid family in Ballingarry who were very much involved in GAA. He always took time out to visit them. He had 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was also a lover of horses,” Canon Fitzmaurice continued.

“He had a few horses and used to go to the horse fairs going back over the years. He always enjoyed going to the Cahirmee Fair in Buttevant.”

Gerard played hurling in the 1950s with Kilmallock and developed a great love of the game. He gleaned particular satisfaction from watching the Kilmallock and Limerick senior hurlers enjoy success in the 1990s with his son Mike playing a pivotal role. Many of Mike’s former colleagues on the playing pitch joined other members of the GAA community in a guard of honour outside the church.

As the remains of the Kilmallock man left the church grounds the two horses with Gerard’s grandchildren on board again led their beloved grandfather to his final resting place at Ardkilmartin Cemetery.

Gerard is predeceased by his wife Joan and is deeply regretted by sons John, Mike and Gerard, daughters Geraldine and Catheriona, son-in-law John Howley, daughters-in-law Marie (nee Kelly), Louise (nee O' Donnell) and Majella (nee Laffan), sisters Mary, Phill (Shortt), Margaret (O' Connor), Breda (Credan-Horton), Kathleen (Hanrahan), brothers-in-law, grandchildren, great- grandchild extended family, friends and special friend Lena. May he rest in peace.