Monday 12 November 2018

It is the mischief and laughter that I'll miss most about Tony

Ruth Dudley Edwards recalls her friend, the charming, immensely clever and formidably energetic Anthony Clare

The last time I saw Tony Clare was six years ago, at the funeral of my ex-husband, Patrick Cosgrave, when he gave the eulogy. Tony had already gone into the state of virtual reclusion that lasted for the rest of his life. He saw his patients, but his friends saw little or nothing of him.

In speaking of Patrick, Tony was, of course, eloquent, but his tone was sombre and I can remember none of the lightning wit, the liveliness and the bubbling sense of fun that his friends used to so cherish. He left immediately the service ended.

Eight years earlier, he and I had walked through Cahirciveen behind the coffin of our dear friend Liam Hourican, angry and desolate at his death but finding things to laugh at. We drew considerable amusement from the sight of six middle-aged, mostly over-weight men (John Hume and Ronan Fanning among them) struggling to keep Liam's coffin from crashing off their shoulders. I enquired when Tony was going to offer to help out. "They may be mad," he said. "I'm not. I don't want to get a heart attack."

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