Saturday 20 January 2018

Musical farewell for Christy Davitt

The music continued in Ferns long after Christy Davitt of Lodgewood was laid to rest.

The former showband trumpeter and singer, who died in hospital in Limerick, was given a tuneful send-off.

He was the first to pass away of the seven brothers who played in the family band that was formed in the 1950s. The members of that original outfit provided inspiration for a wave of music which continues to wash around Ferns to this day.

The celebration of Christy's life featured performances by players across the age range from eight to more than eighty.

Most poignant was the playing of three trumpets at the graveside by son Joe, with grandsons Stephen Davitt and Daryl Kearns.

The deceased was one of a large family raised at Coolbán in Ferns village by the late Paddy and Teresa Davitt.

Paddy was a tailor and he provided the suits for the band – all of them lifelong Pioneers.

Away from the dance halls, Christy worked for the county council and he was a devoted family man. He and his wife Rita had ten children of their own - five girls and five boys - and he lived to love 28 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

It grieved him that his much loved wife, who died 18 years ago, did not share the joy of seeing the family expand.

He packed away his trumpet when she departed, though he continued to encourage others to play.

By coincidence, Christy Davitt was laid to rest on the anniversary of Rita's death back in 1996.

Music remained the guiding passion of his life and he also took a keen interest in matters sporting and in his garden.

Pre-deceased by his sister Agnes and brother Seamie, he is mourned by brothers Tony, Eddie, Francis, Liam, Richard, Seán and Tommy; by sisters Rita and Nancy; by sons Tommy, Dinny, Christy, Seamie and Joe; by daughters Teresa, Anne, Rita, Pam and Tina along with other members of the family, friends and all who enjoyed his music through the years.

The funeral Mass at St Aidan's Church was celebrated by Fr Michael Byrne and Fr Richard Redmond.

Members of the family wore pink or sported pink carnations in memory of Christy's late wife.

The cortege paused on the way to the cemetery at the Davitt home place in Coolbán where Seán Davitt sang 'Little Nell', the single released by the band in 1972.

May Christy rest in peace and his musical legacy live on.

Gorey Guardian

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