Thursday 22 August 2019

'He was extremely good-natured' - Tributes paid to popular hotelier (53) killed in car crash

Eoin Burke (53)
Eoin Burke (53)

Mary McDonnell

A close-knit community is “devastated” after a popular Galway hotelier died in a crash in Connemara yesterday.

Eoin Burke (53), of Clonbur, passed away in a single vehicle crash around 1.30pm in East Carrick, Corr na Mona.

Mr Burke was remembered as a much-loved pillar of the community who did “outstanding work” in the local area.

The father-of-four worked with his family’s award-winning restaurant Burkes of Clonbur – also known as Tí Bhurca – and ran the Peacockes Hotel in Maam Cross.

He was also a talented GAA player and former chairman of Clonbur GAA club; ran a popular livestock mart close to the hotel and was an undertaker in Burke’s Funeral Home where he is reposing.

His close friend, Fianna Fáil TD for Galway West, Eamon O’Cuiv told Independent.ie: “The whole community is devastated.

“Everyone knew him from far and wide. He was an extremely good-natured person. He was the most obliging person you could ever meet.

“He was someone who would always see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

“He was respected far and wide. I counted him amongst my closest friends. He was a fantastic character, full of good stories.

“My sympathies are with (his wife) Bríd and all the family. They (the Burkes) were part of everything that happened in the area.”

He said the 53-year-old had left the mart yesterday afternoon to head to Clonbur and was on his way back towards Maam Cross when he passed away.

Clonbur GAA club led tributes online. In a post, they wrote: “We are all devastated and deeply saddened to hear of the death of our friend and colleague Eoin Burke.

“Eoin was a prominent member of Cumann Naomh Padraig and played senior football with the club where he lined out at corner back in the 1983 senior county final.

“Tí Bhúrca and the Burke family have always and continue to be the club’s main sponsor and our deepest sympathies and our prayers are with his (family). We all have lost a friend.”

There was a huge outpouring of grief online overnight.

One Facebook user wrote: “Eoin always put a smile on your face. Deepest sympathy and prayers to all of the Burke’s. Rest In Peace Eoin.”

Another described his death as “a tragic loss to his family and many friends”.

 “He was always so kind and helpful to everyone,” they said.

Another local wrote that the community had lost “one of Connemara’s biggest supporters and nicest people you were ever going to meet”.

While another mourner said he was “a true gentleman (who) went way beyond the call of duty”.

Mr Burke was the sole occupant of the car he was travelling in when the tragic accident occurred yesterday afternoon.

He was pronounced dead at the scene and was transferred to University Hospital Galway where a post mortem will take place.

He is survived by his parents Ciaran and Cha; his wife Bríd; children Hannah, Paddy, Muiréad and Jean, and his siblings Tomas, Gearóid, Colm, Adrienne and Anna.

He will be buried on Wednesday in Rosshill Cemetery, Clonbur.

Peacockes Hotel in Maam Cross, Connemara will remain closed until Tuesday in respect of Mr Burke’s passing.

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