Longford Leader obituary: the late Michael Francis McNerney was anchored in north Longford

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OBITUARY: Michael Francis McNerney was anchored in north Longford

The late Michael Francis McNerney.

Michael Francis McNerney (young Michael), who died on June 9, was born on September 28 1930 and was the fifth of eleven children born to Michael Francis McNerney and Katie Smith.

He grew up and lived his entire life in the same house which to some might seem dull but not so for Michael. It anchored him in North Longford but at the same time reached out across the world.

He was truly a man of his time and place but he was hugely interested in knowing about the wider world too and would gladly take on board whatever he deemed useful from whatever source.

Whilst he didn’t spoil himself with vast amounts of leisure time, he did enjoy his downtime and had the great ability to switch off from the day to day cares.

He was justifiably proud of his garden and in recent years loved the Sunday drive with his beloved wife, Nuala. He was intelligent, very well read and enjoyed an eclectic mix of fact and fiction.

He married Nuala Gallagher on June 8, 1959 and from then on they were as one. She was the love of his life and he demonstrated that every day usually in little gestures and kindnesses. They had three children Kathryn, Francis and Claire and in time, nine grandchildren.

They journeyed through 58 years of married life in all its variety, united in times of happiness and sadness, each supporting the other. They were an example to all of us who had the privilege of knowing and observing them.

As a father and grandfather he taught mainly by example and was always ready and eager to help without ever being intrusive. If he thought you deserved to be complimented or needed encouragement you got it with simplicity and sincerity.

Conversely if he thought you were in error or were treating someone unfairly you would be put right. A gregarious man, he got on well with people of all ages and backgrounds.

He was hugely interested in people’s stories and in family in the widest sense. He loved to establish how people were related, deeming it important to know where you came from in order to know where you were going.

His working life revolved around his farm and his knowledge about and enthusiasm for all things agricultural were obvious to all. He loved nature and was a keen observer of the seasons.

He was an example of one who wanted to and succeeded in passing on his farm in a greatly enhanced condition and was a source of advice and practical help to many over the years but he never sought to impose his ideas.

He also spent a number of years working as a salesman for Cully’s Bakery in Arva and enjoyed that period immensely as he was out and about meeting and talking with people in a variety of situations.

He was a great advertisement for the business and was as proud of the Cully range of bread as any member of the Cully family. It underscored his deeply held sense of loyalty and his commitment to others.

For the remainder of his life any journey through North Longford, South Leitrim or West Cavan would be embellished by stories of his days “on the road”.

All of his dealings, whether personal or professional were guided by a sense of respect and honesty in speech and in action and if he described you as a “decent” person you held his highest regard.

A modest man, he never sought the limelight, but he never shied away from speaking his mind where he thought something needed to be said.

His loss is keenly felt by all who knew him and his sudden passing is a source of great pain for his immediate family. He was predeceased by his brothers Carl and Liam, his sisters Anna and Maura RIP.

His passing is deeply mourned by his beloved wife, Nuala and their children, Kathryn, Francis and Claire; his brothers, Brian, James and Colm; sisters Helen, Celia and Ita, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbours, relatives and friends.

His remains reposed at the family home and were brought to St Colmcille’s Church for Mass of the Resurrection and interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.