Grief at passing of Seán (54) on Christmas Eve
A huge crowd gathered at St Aidan's Cathedral on Friday afternoon to bid a fond and final farewell to Seán Chapman of Kiltrea, Enniscorthy. Seán had battled with illness for some time and finally succumbed, following a brave battle, on Christmas Eve aged 54.
Although Seán had been ill for some time, the timing of his passing will have proved extremely difficult for his heartbroken wife Aileen and daughter Emma. While most families were pre-occupied with the usual Christmas festivities, they had the difficult task of planning a funeral service for a beloved husband and father.
It was Seán's wish that his funeral service be an ecumenical one and Fr Odhran Furlong was joined at the Cathedral by Fr Jim Fegan from Ballindaggin and Rev Nicola Halford, who was a friend of Seán and his family.
Before the service begun, mementos from Seán's life were placed neatly on the altar beside his coffin. A remote control represented his love of his work. Seán worked for many years as an electronics technician at Astor Electrical, something which he really enjoyed and through which he made quite a few friends. Next to be presented was a pair of binoculars - a present from his beloved daughter. The congregation were told how Seán particularly liked to look out at the construction of the windmills locally and got great use from his binoculars.
Two dog leads were left on the altar to represent Seán's love of his dogs, Toby and Maisy. He could regularly be seen out walking the dogs and such was his bond with them that they were even allowed into The Beacon hospital to say a final farewell to their master - something which gave everyone a much needed lift.
Seán's love of reading was captured with the presentation of a book. He read every single night and sadly the book presented was one that he would never finish.
Finally, a rugby ball symbolised Seán's great love of sport - particularly rugby. A huge presence at Enniscorthy Rugby Club, he won a towns cup with the club back in his playing days in 1989, several of his teammates were present at the service, and went on to coach and help foster a love of the sport in the following generations. He was a huge Leinster fan and was often heard roaring his beloved blues on. He loved sports of all kinds and could often be seen out strolling with earphones in, listening to some game or other.
It was through a mutual love of sports that Seán bonded with his beloved wife Aileen. The pair met in Enniscorthy and enjoyed 27 years of marriage.
During that time, they were blessed with the birth of daughter Emma, making their lives complete. Seán loved nothing more than taking family holidays and experiencing new things with his wife and daughter by his side.
Speaking from the altar, Rev Nicola Halford said that Seán had been unwell for most of the time that she had known him.
'He took his illness in his stride though,' she said. 'He accepted what was happening to him with good grace and in his final days, he only wanted to make sure his family would be okay.'
Following a moving service, filled with beautiful music, Seán's remains were taken from the Cathedral to Templescoby Church for burial.
Seán was the beloved husband of Aileen, loving father of Emma, much loved son of Joan and the late Tom and brother of Adeline, Patrick, Denise and Eliza.
He is sadly missed by his loving wife, daughter, mother, brother, sisters, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.