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Tributes paid to gentle giant Tom after Tralee tragedy

December 8th, 2020 8:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

The funeral of Tom Ross leaving St Joseph’s Oratory in Fenit on Tuesday. (Photo: Dominic Walsh)

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DUNMANWAY man Tom Ross, who was tragically killed when a building fell on him, has been described as ‘a gentle giant with the heart of a lion.’

Those who knew the builder, who relocated to Kerry after some time in the UK, were shocked to learn of his death last weekend when part of a building that he was working on at Ashe St in Tralee collapsed.

Fr Francis Nolan, the parish priest of Fenit, described Tom as ‘a quiet man in the sense that he used few words, but what he said was worth listening to.’

Although the maximum number of people allowed to attend the funeral service at the St Joseph’s Oratory on Tuesday was 25, the parish priest confirmed that family and old friends of Tom’s travelled from West Cork and honoured his memory in the cemetery.

‘Tom always went the extra mile with people,’ according to the priest. He will be sadly missed by his family: his wife, Noreen, his children John, Samantha, Mike, Carol, Charmaine, Justin, Selena, Mandy and David, and their mother Bridget.

Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly, who engaged the West Cork man to renovate a building at Rock St in Tralee, as both his home and legal practice, described Tom as ‘a gentleman who was generous with his time.’ He said local people, as well as those in the trade, had nothing but respect for his strength, professionalism and skill.

The family also spoke to The Southern Star. ‘As a brother, Tom was a blessing in our lives,’ they said. ‘We are proud that he brought so much laughter, generosity and kindness to all those who met him.

‘But for us, as a family, when a person becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure we keep locked in our hearts forever.’

This week the family told Radio Kerry that a Facebook page that appears to seek funds for Tom’s funeral is fake and they urged people not to donate to it.

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