Historian's death was like 'burning of a library', funeral told
THE loss of historian Shane MacThomais was like a "library burning down", given the depth of his knowledge, mourners at his funeral were told.
Mr MacThomais (46), chief historian at Glasnevin Cemetery, was laid to rest there yesterday, with tributes paid by his daughter, friends, sisters and Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams. The renowned Dublin historian and son of Eamonn MacThomais, who was also a historian, was a well-known chronicler of the 1916 Rising.
"He had some great friends but the shining light in his life was his daughter Morgane. She was the shining beacon of hope in his dark depression," said his friend and fellow historian Lorcan Collins who likened his death to "a library burning down".
His sisters Orla and Meliosa told the congregation how he had "tormented them during their childhoods, but had become a firm friend in adulthood".
Brian Whiteside, who officiated at the humanist ceremony, said that usually it was difficult to find people to speak at funerals, but for Mr MacThomais "people were queueing up."
President Higgins attended a ceremony for Mr MacThomais at Glasnevin on Tuesday evening and was represented yesterday by his aide-de-camp.