The death of well known World War II veteran Michael ‘Mickey’ Reilly of 14 Congress Terrace, Longford has evoked widespread sadness around the town of Longford and across the county.
Mickey passed to his eternal reward at the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar, in the early hours of Thursday, June 5.
He was an honorary member of Longford Branch of O.N.E. and in 1941 he enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters for World War II and later that year was posted to Egypt with the 5th Northamptonshire Regiment.
From then until the end of the war he served in Egypt, at the second battle of El Alemin, Italy, at the battle of Monte Cassino and towards the end of the war in Austria.
Mickey came from a strong military background, his father John and his uncles fought in World War I, his son Chris and his son in laws served in the Irish Army and his grandson Paul is still serving in the Irish Army.
A great soccer man Mickey was with Longford Town in different roles down through the years and at the time of his death he was vice president of the club.
In the Longford Leader, edition July 5, 2013, we featured a special profile on Mickey entitled ‘Reliving the Life of Reilly’ where the author, Philip Halton, described Mickey as,
“A man who has trekked through the arid deserts of Africa, transversed the russet waters of the Sangro, trudged through the soft muddy blancmange in the hell of Monte Cassino and came out the other side to find himself striding the plush pastures and soft rolling hills of Austria.
“Michael is a man whose memory recalls the downfall of Mussolini; a dictator who now merely exists for people entirely in the abstract and within the blocks of text that fill the margins of history books.
“He is the man with the avuncular image and the warm smile, cracking jokes as his grandchildren trickle in and out of his household. Michael is a man who has had - The Life of Reilly.”
Deepest sympathy is extended to his wife RoseAnn, family Kathleen (McNally), Bridie (Murray), Jim, Michael, Maisie (McDonnell), Chris, Martina and Christina (Wykes), sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
Mickey will repose at Saint Joseph’s Hospital Chapel, Dublin Road, Longford tomorrow Saturday, June 7 from 5pm with prayers at 5.45pm.
Removal is to Saint Mel’s Cathedral Centre, Saint Mel’s College, Longford on Sunday, June 8 for funeral mass at 3pm. Burial afterwards in Ballymacormack cemetery.