Wexford People

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Opera lover Eamonn Healy served with the US Air Force

MR. EAMONN Healy of Carrigeen Street who died recently, was an American who came to Wexford via Madrid and liked the town so much that he retired here.

A learned man with a knowledgeable interest in the arts and music, he chose Wexford because of the existence of the Opera Festival, among other reasons.

Eamonn settled here in 1998 and grew to love the town where he was a regular patron of Wexford Arts Centre events and the annual Opera Festival programme.

This year was the first time that he didn't attend an opera production in the dozen years since his arrival.

Born on February 29, 1924, a son of the late Edwin J. Healy and Florence Mooney, he joined the US Air Force at the age of 19 and served as a translator based in Louisiana.

After he left the Air Force, he lived in France and Spain and later taught French and Spanish in England.

He grew up with a deep affinity to Ireland and Irish history as his grandmother (nee Mooney) came from Coolkirk near Termonfeckin, County Louth. He was a member of Wexford Historical Society.

Eamonn was a very well-read man and had a library of books of wideranging intellectual interest at his home in Carrigeen Street. He was outgoing and gregarious and ' knew his own mind' as one friend put it.

His wide circle of friends in Wexford were very saddened to learn of his death in Wexford General Hospital on December 10 following a sudden illness.

His funeral Mass took place in Bride Street Church, followed by burial in Barntown Cemetery.

Eamonn is survived by his brothers Roland (Oregon) and Matthew (Florida); his twin nephews Matthew and Mark; his grand-nephews Ben and Tyler, and his extended family and friends.

His godson Moy Alcantar travelled to Wexford from Chicago for his funeral.

His funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr. Michael O' Shea, in the absence of his good friend Fr. Tom Devereux who is based in Sydney, Australia and could not travel but has remembered him in his prayers and masses.