Larry always made sure a job was done
SAD DEATH OF POPULAR DELIVERY MAN
THE THOUSANDS of miles are over, the van parked up and quiet, the hustle and bustle of the ink laden printing presses now silent.
But this week they'll run again, one last time, for Larry Butler.
Last Tuesday, New Year's Day, Larry went on his usual deliveries of the Drogheda Independent around the area before heading off to bed.
But in the midst of soft sleep he slipped away.
Larry Butler (67) was larger than life. An impeccable timekeeper, a loyal friend to many, someone who just didn't seem to grow old.
Married to his beloved Mary and father to Michael and Darren, Larry began his career in the Drogheda Independent in the early 1970s, after doing deliveries for Barney Corcoran and spending some time in Canada.
With Tommy Brady and the late Christy Gibney from Duleek, they travelled the highways and byways of Ireland, delivering everything from racecards to receipt books from the Drogheda Independent printing works.
Every Wednesday the DI would make its way on a familiar route, Larry leading off and learning to know every inch of road in Louth, Meath and North County Dublin.
Tommy Brady this week described his old buddy as ' the nicest person you could ever meet', remarking you could tell so many stories about Larry, but they'd all be good ones.
'I recall the first night the paper was printed in Wexford and we went down to get it. But a shaft broke on the machine after it was half done and he had to drive to Waterford to get the rest of the paper printed and then bring it back to Wexford to join both parts. We had left Drogheda at 7am and didn't get back until the following day!'
Larry's big thing was his timekeeping and no matter the task, he was always early.
'He might have to get racecards to Galway for 9am and he'd be there waiting at 8.45am. He was that type of guy, a hard worker and he'd never let anyone down. I'm sad this week,' Tommy added.
He spent 16 years in the Drogheda Independent with his old pal.
Larry, who was a proud Mell man and whose father worked as a cobbler in Walsh's of Dyer Street, got to know people all over the country, including the crews in the Irish Independent in then Middle Abbey Street.
Another former colleague was Michael Hurley who recalled another story. 'Larry was delivering the DI in Co Meath and came around a corner once and straight into a herd of cattle. The van was badly damaged and he suffered an injured shoulder. He had his arm in a sling that evening in Daly's pub and someone asked did he work in GEC - 'no' came the comment from the lads, ' he's the butcher from the DI!'.
'Larry just lived for his family and was an absolute gent. He was so professional and made sure a job was always done.'
Years later he often met Larry and no matter the passing of the years, if a favour was needed, Larry obliged, not hearing of a penny for anything.
Fr Aidan Dunne paid tribute to that trait at his funeral mass on Saturday to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, remarking ' he went the extra mile to help people.... surely we'd all like to be remembered for that.'
As hundreds poured from the church, Larry began his last journey home to a fitting resting place in Tullyallen. Home at last Larry.