BY MICHELLE NEWMAN
IN what was described as ‘the end of an era’, a well-known Inchigeela man passed away last week.
Con Joe Lucey, 80, died suddenly at his home in Inchigeela village on Wednesday.
The huge attendance at his funeral, which took place in Inchigeela on Friday afternoon at the St Finbarr and Holy Angels Church, was a mark of the man who was a popular face in the area, and a well-known travelling hand for farmers in the locality who needed extra help from time to time.
‘His like won’t be replaced, there is no recording machine around today to match him,’ said his friend Donal O’Sullivan, who added that Con Joe was particularly well known for his incredible memory.
He recalled the story of Con Joe meeting a woman from the village one day to say she had a hen that had abandoned her eggs before they were hatched. Con Joe happily returned to his home and retrieved his own mother’s hen, who was also sitting on eggs.
The next day his mother met the woman from the village, and told her, ‘You know, I had a hen hatching and she’s left her eggs.’ But the secret was safe for Con Joe, or his mother would have had stern words for him!
Joe Creedon, of Creedon’s Hotel, was also a close friend of Con Joe’s and recalled how he would ‘visit every house in the parish’. Describing him as a ‘very special man’, Joe said that people from the local community turned up in large numbers to pay their respects to Con Joe.
‘He had no immediate family, but he knew everyone, and had lots of places he would go were people were very kind to him’ said Joe.
A great source of local knowledge, Con Joe could retain an amount of information, along with having a huge interest in geography. ‘He was a celebrated character, far and wide’ said Joe. ‘He would have gone to all the Fleadh Cheoil’s in Ireland, getting lifts there and around the country.’
Remarking on his generosity, Joe describes how Con Joe was happy to share with the people he met. ‘He would always have two or three shopping bags with him, with newspapers, bananas and Rolos and he would give them out to people as he went by’.
It seems the entire community has been touched by Con Joe’s death, with the young people of Inchigeela being particularly upset. ‘It’s amazing that the young people are particularly affected ... the teenagers are especially lonesome for him,’ said Joe.