Thursday 27 July 2017

Sad passing of popular Gerry Forde

POPULAR MUSICIAN Gerry Forde of St Gerard's, Ferrybank, passed away on Saturday.

Known far and wide for his love of Irish traditional music, the 1965 Fiddler of Dooney had a string of All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil medals to his name.

The 90 year old father of five had been in relatively good health but had experienced minor heart trouble over the past few months.

However, the former engineer had commented in recent weeks that his 'own engine was beginning to slow down'.

With little warning he passed away peacefully on Saturday.

Originally from Slaney Street, Gerry graduated from UCD in 1944 with a degree in engineering. He moved to England then where the work was plentiful as reconstruction work was underway following World War II.

In 1949 he returned to his native Wexford where he took up a post with Wexford County Council. He worked with the council until his retirement in 1985.

He always found time to play music with his dear friends the late George Ross, the late Leo Meyler, Joe Kennedy, Nicky Doran and Conor Geoghan. But even music played second fiddle to his family.

'Everything else would pale into insignificance when it came to his family,' said his eldest son Gerald.

Gerry would visit his beloved wife Nellie every single day at Knockeen Nursing Home, where she has resided for the past number of years.

Gerry was the head of a large family of 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He would regularly entertain the clan with his party pieces 'When You Were Sweet Sixteen' and ' Coast of Malabar' at any special occasion.

Gerry had a close bond with his brother in law Tim Flood. As an avid GAA fan, it was with great delight that he watched Tim win three All Ireland medals in the 1950s and 1960s.

Gerry also played with Tim at Cloughbawn during the 1950s and then the pair also secured an Ireland Fleadh Cheoil medal together with Gerry on the fiddle and Tim on the banjo. Gerry's funeral mass will take place today (Tuesday) at 12 noon in St Ibar's Church, Castlebridge.

He will then be laid to rest after the ceremony in St Ibar's Cemetery, Crosstown.

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