Tribute to 'loyal husband' killed by falling tree
THE wife of the man killed in a tragic tree-felling accident told mourners yesterday of her "loyal" husband who was an "unstoppable force of nature".
At the funeral service of 47-year-old Eamonn Smith in Christ Church in Delgany, Co Wicklow, his wife Cyndi spoke bravely about her husband in the packed church.
Mr Smith, who was a skilled tiler, died after he was hit by a falling ash tree on St Patrick's Day while out chopping firewood in an area called Drummin, close to the Glen of the Downs.
His seven-year-old son Shane, who was with him at the time, raised the alarm after running up the road calling for help, telling nearby workmen "my daddy is dead".
Addressing mourners yesterday, Cyndi told how her life had changed after meeting her future husband on a one-week holiday in Ireland in the late 1990s.
"I remember saying to him 'I've never met anyone like you before' . . . he said to me, 'I would marry you'.
"I was shocked. But somehow, even though he had just met me, he knew me."
The couple were "ying and yang", from different cultures and different parts of the world, mourners heard, but despite this the pair's core values were the same, she said. "Eamonn and I have been through a few tough times but in a crisis there was no better man -- he was a rock of support I could always rely on."
Paying tribute to her husband, she said he was a "sincere and passionate" man who "was not afraid of death" and who loved the outdoors, his children and his work.
"Eamonn seemed invincible sometimes...I will need his belief to raise our children well," she said. "Even after all these years I still feel like I've never met anyone like Eamonn. He was a force of nature who is still with me."
Family friend Stephen Mulcahy also addressed the funeral Mass and spoke of his "great pleasure and good fortune" to know Eamonn. He said his friend was an "exceptional" personality.
He also spoke of the courage of Eamonn's son Shane, who raised the alarm after his father was injured. "Shane, you are a very brave young man; you are as fearless as your father. Eamonn would have been so proud of you, as we all are," he said.
Mr Smith is survived by parents Thomas and Margaret, brothers Tommy and Barry, sisters Susan and Sandra, wife Cyndi, son Shane and infant daughter Ashling.