THE COMMUNITY of Slane has been stunned by the death of James Gargan, following a road traffic accident in the village last Thurday afternoon.
Affectionately known as Jem, Mr Gargan (81) was a native of Creewood where he lived most of his life before moving into the village in recent years.
He worked for a time at Slane Brickyard, was involved in the archaeological dig at Newgrange for a period and was also an member of the outdoor staff of Meath County Council.
The humble bicycle was his mode of transport around the area but he also went further afield and visited Lourdes on three different occasions with his great friend Francis McKenna.He was also a great lover of the GAA and was a frequent visitor to Croke Park to cheer on Meath football teams.
A talented singer, one of Jem's favourite party pieces was The Isle of Inisfree which was played following his interment in St Erc's Cemetery, Slane.
The large attendance at the removal from his home at Abbey View to St Patrick's Church, Slane, on Saturday evening and at his funeral Mass the following day was a testimony of his popularity.
The Mass was celebrated by Fr Joe Deegan, PP, Slane, and Fr Michael Sheerin, PP Lobinstown. Fr Deegan said the purity of Jem's smile was the tale of his character. He was described as a man of simplicity with a very friendly disposition who was loved by everyone around the village.
Meanwhile local Cllr Wayne Harding said Jem was the gentlest and kindest human being you could ever meet. 'He always had a smile on his face and the people who interacted with him as he moved around the village will miss him greatly.'