the DEATH has taken place of a former Wexford businessman and family man who at one stage drove one of the town's main economic powerhouses.
Ian Michael Hearn, of Saunderscourt, Crossabeg, died on Friday (March 4). He was in his 80s.
He was a former director and works manager of the Star Ironworks, which produced ploughs and other farm implements used by farmers across Ireland and Europe in the 1900s and up to the 1960s and was one of the direct competitors of Pierces Foundry.
His ancestor John S. Hearn was significant in the famous and divisive Lockout of 1911 in Wexford. John S, who went down when the 'Leinster' was torpedoed in 1918, was succeeded in command by his brother William F before Ian M's father Charles D took over the reins in 1942.
Ian, who became a director of the Star Ironworks in 1959 experienced no bitterness and had a good relationship with his workforce, in later years wrote a feature on the events surrounding the Lockout, and his family's role in founding the company, for the Wexford Historical Society, of which he was a member.
Prior to taking on the role at Star Ironworks, Ian spent a short while in Canada studying how the farm machinery trade was developing in North America at the giant International Harvester corporation.
When an offer came in 1964 from Renault importer Con Smith, the family sold out rather than face the international competition.
Ian Hearn then switched from engineering to run a dairy farm at Kitestown.
A staunch Catholic, he was highly esteemed as a gentleman and was held in high regard by employees at the Star.
He is the beloved husband of Gillian, cherished and much-loved father of Susan and Michael and adored grandfather of Rebecca. Sadly missed by his loving wife, daughter, son, grandchild, sister Margaret , brother Denis, daughter-in-law Jean, sister-in-law Suzette, brothers-in-law Peter and John, niece, nephew and his wide family and many friends. His Requiem Mass took place yesterday (Monday) in the Church of St. Patrick, St Brigid and St. Killian, Crossabeg, followed by burial in adjoining cemetery.