There were emotional scenes at St Mary’s Church, Newtowncashel this afternoon as the remains of 26-year-old Andrew Rowan arrived for Funeral Mass.
Andrew’s coffin which was flanked by his family and friends, made its final journey from the young man’s home nearby, after he died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night close to The Pigeons outside of Athlone.
Chief celebrant Fr Merlyn Kenny said that while he was new to the parish of 'Cashel, and didn’t know Andrew all that well, anytime the pair met, Fr Kenny received a “hearty wave” from the young man.
“What you saw, was what you got with Andrew, smiled the Parish Priest.
“Andrew was straight and honest with you and that was a wonderful way to be.”
Meanwhile, the congregation heard about the south Longford man’s love for machinery particularly diggers and motorbikes.
In testament to that, the funeral cortege was accompanied by dozens of motorcycles and their drivers to the church.
Andrew’s helmet alongside a model digger and model motorbike were also placed on the coffin as it arrived at its resting place close to the altar before the Mass began.
Those gathered for the heartbreaking Funeral Mass heard that Andrew had recently started a new job as a digger operator and had subsequently received his first paycheque from the company on the Thursday prior to his death.
“Andrew had a great sense of humour,” continued Fr Kenny who was assisted by Fr Séan Casey and a third member of the clergy who was related to the Rowan family.
“He was a very kind lad and would go out of his way to help you.”
The 26-year-old Newtowncashel man was later laid to rest in the glorious sunshine with his mother Margaret, father Tomas, brother Tomas, sister Susan and all his relatives and friends by his side. May he Rest in Peace.