There is a sense of deep sorrow in Ballymahon this week as the community mourns the passing of one of its own, Michael Cooney, following a tragic cycling accident on Saturday.
The incident occurred near Ballymahon, while Mr Cooney was cycling on a pathway along the Royal Canal.
He was discovered at approximately 2pm by two people who were walking along the same route.
The devastating and unexpected news has left the community reeling as people try to come to terms with the loss of the popular local man.
A familiar face around local cycle routes, Michael was always on his bike and was often seen cycling to and from Longford town, where he worked in the roads section of Longford County Council.
His sad and untimely passing has had a very heavy impact on his heartbroken council colleagues.
As a mark of respect, the council offices will remain closed this morning (Wednesday).
Local councillor Pat O'Toole has said that there is “profound shock in the community” at the of Mr Cooney.
“Everyone that you meet is in shock. He was well-known by everyone in Ballymahon. He was a very popular man from a very popular family and everyone is devastated,” he said.
Michael was a man who very much kept to himself, according to many who knew him. But he had a friendly greeting and plenty of time to chat to anyone he would meet while out cycling.
He often joined local cycling events in Ballymahon and enjoyed a couple of pints in Skelly’s pub on a Saturday night, according to Cllr O’Toole.
“It's come as a huge shock to everyone in the area. The community is heartbroken and he’s going to be very sadly missed around Ballymahon,” he said.
Michael had recently taken up golf and was taking Tuesday evening beginner lessons. His wife, Ann, is a long-standing and popular member of Longford Golf Club.
Michael's passing is deeply regretted by his loving wife Ann, his daughters Donna and Michelle, his son Gordon, his brothers and sister John, Christy and Marie, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and neighbours.
Funeral Mass takes place today, Wednesday, at 11am in St Matthew's Church, Ballymahon followed by Cremation in Lakelands Crematorium, Cavan.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
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