THE FORMER partner of music superstar Freddie Mercury has been laid to rest in his native Carlow after losing his battle with cancer on New Year's Day. Séamus (Jim) Hutton was buried in Bennekerry Cemetery on Sunday after his funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Mary's Church there. A huge crowd attended the funeral service at the weekend, a testament to his and the Hutton family's popularity.
He'd been sick for some time and passed away just three days before his 61st birthday.
On Sunday night, local band After Dark paid tribute to Jim's memory by dedicating a rendition of Queen's famous ' Bohemian Rhapsody' in the Barracks Bar, Carlow.
The deceased was this week described by close friends and neighbours as 'a complete gentleman', adding that Jim was 'very well repected and liked.'
He had moved back to Carlow following the death of the Queen frontman from an AIDS-related illness in 1991, and worked as a carpenter and handyman with one of his brothers while living at Rutland Terrace in Bennekerry.
He first met Freddie Mercury while working as a barber at London's exclusive Savoy Hotel in 1983, but initially didn't even recognise the giant of the pop music world. They soon became close, however, and he lived with the famous singer in London from 1985
until Mercury's death six years later. He nursed the singer through the later stages of his illness, and was referred to as 'my husband' by Mercury during his final days.
He told of his life with the singer in a book called 'Mercury and Me' which was published in November 1994 by Bloomsbury Publications, and also in a number of interviews on British TV which followed the book's publication. He had by now also been diagnosed as HIV positive, and left London in 1996 to move back to Carlow, where he spent the final years of his life.
The Queen anthem 'Barcelona' was played at his graveside as he was laid to rest, while tributes were paid to him on many Queen fan websites.
Queen's guitarist Brian May also paid tribute to the late Carlow man on his own website. He wrote: 'Jim and Freddie were close for many years, and in modern parlance would have been called civil partners. Jim was a quiet and gentle soul, unimpressed and faintly amused by the machinations of fame, rock and roll, and Queen, and so provided Freddie with a refreshingly different view on life.
'Jim was devoted to gardening, and to breeding the carp which gave Freddie so much pleasure in his pond at Garden Lodge. Our sincere condolences to his family. RIP, Jim.' Jim Hutton is survived by his brothers, sisters, aunts,
other relations, and friends.