Thursday 17 October 2019

Frank was a respected family man


The late Frank Arrigan
The late Frank Arrigan

Brendan Keane

People throughout Enniscorthy were saddened to learn of the passing of Frank Arrigan who passed away on Wednesday, October 3, following a long illness.

A retired Garda, Mr Arrigan, who lived at Gort na Gréine, The Moyne, Enniscorthy, was originally from Clonmel in Co Tipperary.

Born on October 1, 1943, he came from a very respectable family and friends and neighbours from his native county who travelled to Enniscorthy for his funeral mass on Friday were welcomed by Fr Billy Swan.

Fr Swan also acknowledged one of Mr Arrigan's daughters-in-law who was unable to attend in person but was viewing the funeral from Australia on the St Aidan's Cathedral webcast of the service.

Current and former members of the Gardai who were in attendance were also welcomed by Fr Swan as well as Mr Arrigan's many friends and neighbours from the Moyne.

During the ceremony Mr Arrigan's son, Conor, paid tribute to his father who was a devoted family man.

When he was young he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, Brian, into the Gardai, However, when he first applied in the early 1960s he was a little too short for the required height.

He then went to London and while there he took up a job as a bus conductor for a year. He returned again to Ireland and re-applied for the Gardai and this time he was successful.

He spent some time posted in Dublin but was then assigned to various stations around Co Wexford including New Ross and Carrig-on-Bannow.

He was also posted to Rathdrum before eventually coming to Enniscorthy where he would remain until he retired after a policing career of 30 years.

In 1972, he met the love of his life, Mary, who was also from Clonmel. Though they knew of each other previously it wasn't until they met at the Cashel Ballroom that they became a couple.

The following year they were married and when they settled in Enniscorthy they set about raising their family.

Adopting a very hands-on approach to life he took great pride in the fact that he did a lot of the work on their house when it was being built.

Mr Arrigan became immersed in the local community doing a lot of fundraising work and being on schools' Boards of Management.

Health conscious, he was a man who looked after himself and always kept very fit. He loved going for spins on his 5-speed Raleigh racing bike and in later years he loved going for walks along the Enniscorthy promenade and walkway by the Slaney.

Mr Arrigan was a passionate gardener and loved developing the garden around the family home. A keen sports enthusiast he loved watching Munster and Ireland rugby matches.

He also had a passionate and active interest in music with a particular fondness for famous crooners like Frank Sinatra.

He was a highly regarded and popular member of the local Silvertones and St Aidan's Church Choir and during the funeral mass a Vivaldi CD was brought up as one of the items symbolising his life along with a garden trowel and a book of Shakespeare's sonnets - to symbolise his love of reading and poetry.

Mr Arrigan was a learned man and as Conor told the mourners he could quote Shakespeare or Latin but his quirky sense of humour also meant he wasn't adverse to quoting the likes of Homer Simpson when the need arose.

In 1998 he retired from the Gardai but never one to rest on his laurels he took up a job in the Emergency Response call centre in Bunclody.

When he finally retired from working life for good he devoted his time to his grandchildren and supporting them in their various activities.

For the last two years his health began to decline but he bore his illness with great dignity and at the mass Conor acknowledged the support and help Mr Arrigan and his family received from the staff in University Hospital Waterford and Wexford General Hospital along with the local palliative care nurses.

Friends and neighbours were also acknowledged for their ongoing support and friendship during what was a difficult period for the family.

The high regard in which Mr Arrigan was held was underlined by the large congregation of mourners who gathered in St Aidan's Cathedral for his Requiem Mass.

Following the mass his remains were laid to rest in Enniscorthy Cemetery following a Guard of Honour formed by colleagues from an Garda Siochana.

Mr Arrigan is survived by his wife Mary, sons Conor and Niall, daughter, Miriam, brother, Jimmy, daughters-in-law, Deirdre and Irma, son-in-law, John, grandchildren, Killian, Tomas, Mary, Maeve, Róisín, Rachel, Kate and Rory, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and very large circle of friends.

He was pre-deceased by his brother, Brian and sister, Marie.

Enniscorthy Guardian