Son's tribute to great dad and superb news editor
A SON yesterday paid a moving tribute to his father, who had an "exceptional" career in journalism and a "wicked sense of humour".
Mourners at the funeral Mass of long-serving Irish Independent news editor John Healy, who died on Sunday following an illness, heard that it was as a father that he truly made an impact.
Mark Healy said during Mass at the Church of St Therese in Mount Merrion, Dublin, that he was "very honoured and privileged" to be his son.
Chief mourners were Mr Healy's wife Ann, sons Mark, John and Denis, brother Tom, sister Maura, grandchildren Dylan, Emma and Conor, and daughter-in-law Hilary.
In his eulogy, Mark Healy said his father had a "wicked sense of humour" despite being a "reserved" man. He also recalled how on Sundays he would be sent to pick up "every single paper printed in Ireland and Britain" for his father, who was working to get the Irish Independent out on Monday.
The funeral was attended by Irish Independent editor Gerry O'Regan; former Irish Independent editor Vinnie Doyle and his wife Gertie; former 'Evening Herald' editor Paul Drury; and former deputy group news editor Dave Halloran.
Longford TDs Peter Kelly (FF) and James Bannon (FG) travelled for the funeral. Also in attendance were Martin Fitzpatrick, of the Press Council; Jim Eadie, former Irish secretary of the NUJ; and Chris Glennon, former political correspondent of the Irish Independent.
Fr Andrew O'Sullivan told mourners that Mr Healy lived a very active life and was a "great point of reference" for all his family.
Prayers of the faithful were offered for the Healy family and for the nurses and doctors at St Vincent's Private Hospital.
Born in Longford in 1931, Mr Healy was reared in Sligo and went on to work as a trainee journalist with the 'Sligo Champion' after his Leaving Cert.
He worked as a news and sports reporter for the 'Donegal People's Press' before moving to the 'Longford Leader'. He then moved to Dublin where he had a long and distinguished career with the Irish Independent until the late 1990s.
After the Mass, Mr Healy's remains were taken to his home place of Moydow, Co Longford for burial.