Shocked locals pay tribute to Macroom's 'go-to person' at requiem Mass

Shocked locals pay tribute to Macroom's 'go-to person' at requiem Mass

By Olivia Kelleher

A father-of-one whose name was described as being "synonymous with hard work" was laid to rest in Macroom, Co Cork today just days after his killing shocked the local community.

Agricultural and landscaping contractor Derry Coakley, 59, died from a single gunshot wound to the upper arm at Raleigh North outside Macroom at around 11.30pm last Tuesday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hundreds of people filed into St Colman's church in the town at 12pm today for the requiem Mass for the man described as the town's "go-to person."

Monsignor James O'Donnell told mourners that Derry was a very obliging man. He said that Derry's reply to being asked to do anything was always a "just leave it with me."

"We all have our own memories of Derry. Like his father, Sean, his name was synonymous with hard work, with long hours of work, with machinery such as tractors and diggers, with efficiency, with honesty and with a desire to help and an inability to say no.

"His importance in our community was well-summed up during the week by one of his many friends who said that whenever there was a job to be done, whenever there was a problem, Derry was the go-to person."

Shocked locals pay tribute to Macroom's 'go-to person' at requiem Mass

"We are all beneficiaries of Derry's skill - many parts of our town and surrounding countryside have Derry's imprint."

"Every job that Derry took in hand was finished to perfection."

He said Derry was a man of "faith and prayer" who was in the church at Mass every Sunday morning.

He told the congregation that Derry shared his love of music with his daughter, Deirdre, and enjoyed bringing her and her friends to concerts in Killarney.

Offertory gifts including models of a tractor and a digger whilst his coffin had a family picture on top in addition to a photograph of him working on a tractor.

Macroom Tidy Towns and Macroom Ploughing Association provided a guard of honour at the graveside. Mr Coakley is survived by his mother Joan, his daughter Deirdre and his sister Siobhan. He lived with his mother in Macroom.

He was laid to rest in St Colman's Cemetery.


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