PEOPLE in North Wexford have spoken of their deep sadness at the tragic passing of Andrew Clarke, son of celebrity chef Derry Clarke and his wife Sallyanne.
The Clarke family are regular visitors to Courtown as they have a holiday home in the local area, and Andrew spent several summers learning to sail with Courtown Sailing Club.
Andrew (16) passed away on New Year's Eve after an accident at his home the previous week while he was fixing a car.
'We send on our sympathies to Derry, Sallyanne and their family on their terrible loss,' said Courtown Sailing Club Commodore Kevin Conroy. 'Andrew learned to sail with the club over various summers, and was a very popular young man. He was a very funny lad to have on the course, and he was always willing to help in any way.'
' The whole family are very well thought of in the local community and our deepest sympathies go out to the family,' he concluded.
The Clarkes also have many friends in Courtown RNLI, and Derry's famous burgers are sold each Sea Sunday to raise funds for the lifeboat. A spokesperson for Courtown Lifeboat said that the Clarkes are dedicated supporters of Courtown RNLI Lifeboat, and expressed the deepest sympathies of all on the Lifeboat to the family.
Derry Clarke also held a cookery evening for Courtown RNLI several years ago, in association with Gorey Chamber, and on December 27 last, he featured in a television programme 'Food Fight' where he took over Christina's restaurant in Gorey for a few days.
Dick White of Gorey Chamber said that Derry and Sallyanne are great supporters of the local community and local business. 'We have had a number of involvements will the family, including the cookery night for the RNLI and the Food Fight programme which showcased Gorey and North Wexford as a venue for eating out,' he said. 'We are deeply saddened for Derry, Sallyanne and we offer sincerest condolences to the family.'
There was a large representation from the local area at the funeral in Clongowes Wood school at the weekend.