Members of Enniscorthy Municipal District have paid tribute to the late Tom Crofts, from Fr Cullen’s Terrace, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this month.
One of the most highly respected members of the community, he passed away on Monday, September 5, and at this month’s meeting of the local authority, Cllr Jackser Owens expressed sympathy to Mr Croft's family and his sentiments were echoed by the other members of the local authority.
At Mr Crofts’ Requiem Mass in St Senan’s Parish Church, the mourners heard a moving tribute on behalf of his family given by his daughter, Lillian.
Born in 1941, in Monfin, Mr Crofts was reared by his grandparents at the family farm there, following the untimely passing of his father when he was just two years of age.
“However, the family farm and his flourishing relationship with Teddy Plumber made daddy’s childhood a very memorable one,” Lillian told the mourners.
While Mr Plumber was a cousin to Mr Crofts, they also became more like brothers and throughout his lifetime he often reminisced about his early days with Teddy and the farm.
Mr Crofts attended school at St Mary’s in Parnell Avenue and the Vocational College, and when he was 19 he met the love of his life, Madge Franklin.
The couple were married for 60 years this year, had seven children and the family are held in extremely high regard locally. Mr Crofts was also the proud owner of an NSU 250 motorbike in his younger years and the mourners were told at his funeral mass that, outside of his family, greyhounds were his passion in life.
His love for greyhounds was underlined by a conversation one time in which he was asked what he would do if he won the lotto and his response was that he would buy a fine greyhound.
In his latter years Mr Crofts was a well-known figure around the town using his mobility scooter to get around.
During the mass, on behalf of the family, Lillian offered sincere gratitude to everyone who supported and assisted Mr Crofts in recent times, including Martin Fitzhenry who she said was the main stay in his life in recent years.
“Martin, we would like to thank you for your continued dedication and for your empathy and care shown to daddy, and indeed to all of our family this week, and we wish you a happy and healthy retirement,” said Lillian.
She also acknowledged the support and assistance afforded her dad by a 19-year-old carer and said it was hugely appreciated by the family.
Another carer named, Pa, was also acknowledged at the mass with Lillian commenting: “You went above and beyond your duty for daddy and we, as a family, thank you sincerely for all you’ve done.”
The carers in Home Instead were also thanked for their care and assistance. In a very poignant and moving tribute Lillian said: “Daddy, your time on earth has come to an end and rather hurriedly it may be said, but you rest easy now wherever you are upon your heavenly bed.”
During the mass, symbols of Mr Crofts life were also brought up to the altar including his walking stick, his cap and one of his greyhound trophies.
Following the mass Mr Crofts remains were laid to rest in St Mary’s Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife, Madge, his children, Martina, Walter, Susan, Michael, Lillian, Sarah and Thomas, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives and large circle of friends