Saturday 23 February 2019

Former Rovers player passes away in his native Donegal

The recent sudden death of Tony Hirrell, one of Inishowen's favourite sons, was met with much sadness in his native Carndonagh and further afield.

At 18 years of age, he successfully passed the Northern Ireland Civil Service examination and commenced work in the Ministry of Agriculture in Derry.

Tony subsequently moved to Belfast and rose through the ranks to retire, 40 years later, as Assistant Secretary and Head of Livestock and Marketing.

During his career, Tony also attended Queen's University, Belfast, obtaining a Degree in French, which proved useful during the many meetings in Europe, where he represented the UK Government, in matters relating to agriculture.

Upon his retirement, Tony was invited to return as a consultant, an offer he declined, in favour of returning to Queen's University, Belfast, this time to obtain a Law Degree.

Away from the Civil Service, Tony enjoyed another career as a very talented footballer.

He played for Carndonagh, Buncrana, as well as several Derry Teams. He also played professionally for Sligo Rovers.

Tony is survived by his wife, Janet (née Porter) from Buncrana, his daughters, Marie-Clare and Janie, grandchildren, Nicole, Fay and Kate, and his brother, Liam (Carndonagh).

Tony was an excellent junior footballer with Carndonagh Rangers and also played in the D and ​D with Fairview.

Tony enjoyed success​ also with Swilly Rovers playing Junior Cup football and in season 1957/58 Tony played senior soccer with Sligo Rovers in the FAI Shield competition.

Tony's Burial Service took place at Cockhill Church, Buncrana on Saturday, February 10, at 2.30pm.

Sligo Champion