Ballinamuck bids farewell to 'legend' Noel Cassidy

Singer and musician was laid to rest following Funeral Mass in his native Ballinamuck earlier today

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

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aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Ballinamuck bids farewell to 'legend' Noel Cassidy

The late Noel Cassidy.

The Funeral of singer and musician Noel Cassidy took place in Ballinamuck this afternoon.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the parish church  to bid a final farewell to a man described as one of the wittiest men in Co Longford.

Gifts brought to the altar during the Mass included a family photograph, Noel’s guitar and his doc martin boots.

Chief celebrant, Fr Ber Hogan said everyone had their own particular story to tell when it came to the popular and much loved north Longford singer.

“Today we are here to celebrate Noel’s life; his music and his numerous qualities that endeared him to so many people,” added Fr Hogan.

“Noel’s life was bound up in music and entertainment going as far back as the 1970s with his first band the Wagon Masters.

“His life was mostly about song, music and storytelling.

“Music was his passion and while he had other interests too, none of them were to the same extent as the music.”

The congregation went on to hear that Mr Cassidy loved to farm, had a great interest in machinery and also indulged “in a bit of building”.

“He was a great storyteller with a great sense of wit,” added the priest, before sharing a story with those gathered to bid farewell.

“Years ago before all the rules and regulations came in about cars having to have an MOT done on them, Noel was driving through London when he was stopped by the police.

“He was asked had his car been tested and Noel replied, ‘No, in Ireland we don’t test cars, we test cattle!”.

Meanwhile, Mr Cassidy’s close friend, Mick Flavin sung at the Funeral Mass, while his son David paid special tribute to a father whom he described as a “legend”.

“Noel was a very kind and witty man who put a smile on people’s faces,” added David.

“He was a great father and family man too.

“Deep down he was a really big softie - about six weeks ago I had an aneurism on the brain and the other night after daddy passed away I was checking my emails, something I hadn’t had a chance to do before then.

“An email came up from Noel at 1am on April 27 and it read as follows: ‘Howya now David, a lot of calls and prayers for you; each day you will be getting better so hang in.  I will see you on Sunday, until then may God bless you.  I love you always, Dad xxx’.

“That brought tears to my eyes; he was a terrific person; he was always there for the four of us through thick and thin.

“He was a great man to go to if you ever had a difficulty or needed to chat and his presence made our house a home.

“He was a father, a character, a legend.”

Noel Cassidy is survived  by his sons David, Paul, Martin, Cian; wife Mary; brothers, Joe and Patsy; sisters-in-law, Anne, Breege and Rosaleen; mother-in-law Katie; extended family, neighbours and friends.  May he Rest in Peace.