Moving tributes as Evening Press editor Sean leaves 'Departure Lounge'
FAMILY and friends of former 'Evening Press' editor Sean Ward recalled "a special and unique man" whose "high standards will remain his legacy".
Well-known faces from the media, including several of his former 'Irish Press' colleagues, paid tribute to the late journalist who died in Beaumont Hospital last Thursday, aged 78.
Speaking at a packed funeral service in the Church of the Resurrection, in Bayside, Co Dublin, Mr Ward's son Terry remembered his father as "a great family man who I had so many happy memories of".
He recalled his father's love of news, and his attention to detail as news editor, something he said brought great joy to the family.
"The standards dad set are his legacy and something we are immensely proud of," he said.
Mr Ward, whose term as editor at the 'Evening Press' lasted from the 1970s to the early 1990s, was a fanatical GAA fan.
His son recalled how he would lift him over the turnstiles at Croke Park to see the Dubs play. He also paid a special tribute to one of his father's greatest friends, journalist Con Houlihan, who died last August.
"Con always referred to dad as 'the captain'," he said. "The two had a very special relationship."
He also paid tribute to his mother, Jean, who he said his father loved dearly.
There were words of thanks, too, for his father's friends who had helped him during his illness.
"In his later years, dad found great companionship with a group of retired men who he met in the Bayside Inn," he said.
"They called themselves the Departure Lounge because every so often one might pass on. Well, dad has just checked in and is ready to depart.
"Thanks for making him laugh and encouraging him through his illness."
Chief celebrant Fr Paul Ward said those mourning a "special and unique man" could be consoled by the fact that "he was a man of great faith".
Chief mourners were Mr Ward's wife Jean, children Fiona, Terry, Emer and Jean-Marie, his sisters, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren and extended family.
Among those who gathered were chairman of the Irish Press company Eamon de Valera Jr, group managing editor of Independent News & Media Michael Denieffe and 'Sunday World' editor Colm McGinty.
Also present were former 'Irish Press' colleagues Tom O'Shea, John Redmond, Dermot Gilleece, Liam Flynn, John O'Shea, Jim Morahan and David Davin Power.