Monday 29 May 2017

'The best husband, father, brother and friend' - hundreds of mourners turn out to honour Lieutenant Colonel Jack Griffin

Minister Simon Coveney pictured with Vice Admiral Mark Mellett Chief of Staff of thr Irish Defence Forces before funeral mass for Lt Col Jack Griffin at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
Minister Simon Coveney pictured with Vice Admiral Mark Mellett Chief of Staff of thr Irish Defence Forces before funeral mass for Lt Col Jack Griffin at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
The hearse carrying the remains of Lt Col Jack Griffin is escorted through Thurles town by family , friends , members of the Irish Defence Forces and members of Sarsfields Gaa Club , before funeral mass for Lt Col Jack Griffin at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath
The hearse carrying the remains of Lt Col Jack Griffin is escorted through Thurles town by family , friends , members of the Irish Defence Forces and members of Sarsfields Gaa Club , before funeral mass for Lt Col Jack Griffin at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles. Picture Credit: Frank Mc Grath

Emma Jane Hade in Thurles

Minister Simon Coveney has joined the grieving family of Lieutenant Colonel Jack Griffin and hundreds of members of the Defence Forces at his funeral in Tipperary.

His devastated wife Trish, daughters Laragh, Isabelle and Emma, and his siblings described him as the "best husband, father, brother and friend that anyone could could ask for" in a message delivered in the booklet at his funeral mass this afternoon.

Lt Col Griffin (47) died last Saturday after he was struck by a car while he was out jogging.

The accident occurred at Turtulla Cross, close to Thurles on Saturday afternoon.

The father-of-three's remains were escorted to the Cathedral of the Assumption in Thurles shortly before 1pm today.

And several hundred members of the local GAA club, Thurles Sarfields, gave their former selector a guard of honour along the walk from his home.

At the church he was greeted by members of the Defence Forces, many of whom he trained and served with throughout his 29 year military career.

Defence Minister Simon Coveney is present at the ceremony and Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins are being represented by their aide-de-camps.

The father-of-three is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Defence Forces and was commissioned in 1988.

He has served overseas on mission in Africa, the Middle East and was most recently based in Brussels where he was working with other EU military staff.

The Director General of the EU Military staff is also attending the funeral, which is currently underway and is being concelebrated by Fr Martin Hayes and Fr PJ Somers, chaplain of the Defence Forces.

The deceased, who was fondly known as Jackie, was home on leave when the accident occurred.

Shortly after his passing, Lt Col Griffin’s friend and colleague Commandant Seán Ó Fáharta described the senior officer as a “leader” who “epitomised the values and ethos of the Defence Forces of loyalty, integrity and courage”.

“He was a great leader and would never shirk responsibility,” he added.

Lt Col Griffin was treated by paramedics at the scene and was rushed to South Tipperary General Hospital, but he died from his injuries.

He was also a keen sportsman and won a county minor hurling medal with his local club Thurles Sarfields in 1985.

He remained involved in the club throughout the years and most recently took on the role as a selector and coach.

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