Longford's Year in Review: June 2020

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Story of the month: Shock over tragic death of John Harte

The ploughing, vintage and farming communities of Carrickedmond, county Longford and beyond were shocked and plunged into mourning following the tragic death of local farmer, John Harte.

57-years-old Mr Harte, a well-known agricultural contractor and tillage farmer, died following an accident on his farm at Aughnavalley, Colehill, on Thursday evening, May 28.

Many tributes were paid to Mr Harte, with local councillor Mick Cahill saying that his death came as a huge shock to the entire community. He expressed sympathy with the Harte and Kenny families on their tragic loss and said John’s enthusiasm for ploughing and vintage machinery would be sorely missed.

“It is a terrible tragedy. He probably ploughed the whole parish and all the surrounding parishes. Our thoughts are with his family at this terribly sad time,” added Cllr Cahill.

Formerly of Corboy, Edgeworthstown, Mr Harte is predeceased by his parents Eamonn and Helen Harte and his passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Maura (nee Kenny) and his daughters Marie, Sarah, Clare and Edel; their partners Andrew, John and Tom; his brothers Dermot, Michael, Paul; his sisters, Helen, Anne, Geraldine Cullen and Mary Morrissey.

Tributes to Colm Horkan

Gardaí stationed across Longford paid heartfelt tribute to a fallen colleague in June as the late Detective Garda Colm Horkan was laid to rest.

A moment of silence was observed at Longford, Lanesboro, Ballymahon and Granard Garda Stations for the well-respected Detective, who was tragically killed in Castlerea, Co Rosommon, on June 17, following an altercation during which a man managed to take possession of a garda weapon, shooting Det Gda Horkan 15 times.

Paying tribute to Det Gda Horkan, Granard Superintendent Seamus Boyle said that Colm “performed his duties with integrity, empathy and loyalty, both to the community he served and his colleagues”.

Members of the public stood in solidarity with local gardaí, past and present, on the afternoon of Det Gda Horkan’s funeral, as did ambulance and fire services, members of the ONE and Defence Forces, Lanesboro Triathlon club and many other community groups.

Stephen Silver of Aughavard, Foxford, Co Mayo, was charged with capital murder and a book of evidence will be served in the new year.

Kenagh’s drive-in Mass

With the highly anticipated return of Mass from early July, albeit with strict social distancing measures in place, one Kenagh church took an unusual step and hosted a drive-in service to allow more parishioners to attend.

“We felt it’s the right thing to do. It’ll allow a bigger crowd to come,” said Fr Tom Barden of St Dominic’s Church at the time.

With only 50 people permitted to gather in church buildings, St Dominic’s Church was to celebrate Mass from the church car park rather than inside the church building.

Dalton fills FG seat

Following the election of Micheál Carrigy to Seanad Éireann, there was a vacant seat to be filled in the Granard Municipal District of Longford County Council.

That seat was soon taken by Cllr Colin Dalton, from Ballinalee, who vowed to uphold the interests of the county’s younger population as one of his key electoral goals for the next few years.