MANY Wexford people were greatly saddened on Thursday, January 20, following the passing of 68year-old Fintan Newport from 71 Kennedy Park.
Fintan died after a long battle with illness, which he bore with strength, courage and humour until the end of his eventful life.
A man with a great zest for life, he never complained and bore his illness with stoicism and quiet acceptance.
Fintan was born in Antelope Road, Maudlintown, to William Newport (Drinagh) and Mary (nee Flood of Castlebridge). He was the youngest of 10 children and is survived by his sisters Elizabeth Whitty (Bayview Drive), Theresa Campbell (Armagh), Anna George (Surrey) and Esther McGee (Australia).
He is predeceased by brothers and sisters James Newport (Antelope Road), Bobby Newport (Rosslare Strand), Billy Newport (Hantoon Road), Christine Newport (Leeds) and Mary O'Connor (Corish Park).
In the late 1950s, Fintan became a hard-working employee at Springs Limited. It was during this time he met Mae Lacey of Hill Street, Wexford, and after their wedding in 1965 they moved to Kennedy Park, where they enjoyed many happy years of marriage.
It here that he raised a family of five children â?“ Patricia, Caroline, Derek, Pauline and Geraldine. In 1978 he went to work at ABS Pumps and was a dedicated employee right up until his retirement in 2002.
Fintan had keen interest in dart-playing and it was at his local around the corner, James Browne's, that he put his dart-playing talent to use, and he won many trophies and Christmas turkeys in darts tournaments there. He also enjoyed backing the odd horse in his local bookies and loved picking out Grand National winners with friends and family.
Those who knew Fintan will know that he loved gardening and nature. There wasn't a corner of his garden that didn't have a favourite plant or flower. His love for nature was shared with his wife, Mae, and they took great pleasure in walking long distances around the coast of Wexford.
One of Fintan's favourite places was the Wexford Wildlife Reserve and Bird Santuary in Ardcavan. Fintan took a particular interest in birds and often mentioned to his family that if his career had have taken a different path that he would have studied to be an ornithologist.
Fintan also had a keen interest in animation and drawing and loved when his grandchildren came to visit. He would produce a quick sketch of their favourite cartoon character or simply sit and watch their favourite films with them.
Another hobby of Fintan's was his love for music, which was shared by the whole family. His extensive music collection ranged from Roy Orbison to the Fureys, and there was hardly a lyric he did not know. Although a very shy man, he often performed duets in the comfort of his own home with his wife, children and grandchildren on his Karaoke machine â?“ one of his prized possessions.
After much encouragement from his relatives and friends, he would always be the last to sing at weddings, birthdays or other family gatherings.
A family man at heart, Fintan was looking forward to spending his retirement with his grandchildren, but illness deprived him of this quality time. He is remembered as a gentleman by doctors, nurses, carers in Waterford Regional Hospital, and in particular the nurses in the Renal Dialysis Unit. His family would like to express their utmost gratitude and appreciation to all those who helped look after and care for Fintan in the last months of his life.
Those close to Fintan will always remember his strength and determination, wit and humour which kept him going right until the end of his life. He is deeply mourned and missed by all his family and friends.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Mae; his son Derek, his daughters Patricia Barnes, Caroline Feeley, Pauline O'Leary and Geraldine Newport; his sons-in-law Anthony Barnes, Nigel Feeley, Dano O'Leary and David Cooling; his daughter-in-law Nadine Kinsella, and by his grandchildren. He is also remembered by his sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends.
His remains were removed from Waterford Regional Hospital to Kearney's Funeral Parlour and then on to The Church of the Annunciation, Clonard, Wexford, where his Requiem Mass was celebrated on Saturday, January 22, by Fr Denis Lennon.
He was laid to rest in St Ibar's Cemetery in Crosstown, Wexford.