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Tombreane stalwart Tom O’Sullivan leaves hole in fabric of Carnew community with sudden passing


The late Tom O'Sullivan from Carnew in County Wicklow.

The late Tom O'Sullivan from Carnew in County Wicklow.

The late Tom O'Sullivan from Carnew in County Wicklow.


The death took place recently of popular farmer Tom O Sullivan from Tombreane, Carnew in County Wicklow. He was 68 and died in Wexford General Hospital after a short illness.

The former farmer was a very popular person who had an extensive knowledge of dairy farming and livestock. He also had a passion for the Irish Draught horse breed, and had a several Irish Draught mares until very recently.

His respect and popularity within the community was highlighted by the gigantic attendance at his funeral mass in Carnew Church and the subsequent burial in Tomacork cemetery. Carnew Emmets GAA club gave him a guard of honour with 60 members lining the path as his remains were brought from the funeral home to the church for his funeral mass on Saturday, June 18.

He will be remembered as a great neighbour and friend to many people in the Carnew area. He was a great listener, but as his nephew Emmet highlighted in his eulogy, he was never shy in giving anyone an honest opinion if their ego was getting too big for them.

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Tom was born on August 13 in 1953 and was the second of three sons for Paddy and Tess. He attended Carnew National School and started work on the family farm when his school was completed.

Paddy Kehoe of Ballisland was among his close school friends. He also worked in the old tannery in Carnew, and having to milk the cows before his factory work gave him an early start.

GAA, especially hurling, was probably his biggest passion. He anchored the Carnew Emmett’s team from midfield that won four Hurling Championships in a row in the late 1970s. He also captained the same team that won the county football and hurling double in 1979.

After his GAA playing career ended he took many active roles in the community including being part of Saint Brigid’s Hall Committee and the Carnew Bingo Committee.

He was also a very active member of the Tombreane group water scheme since its foundation in the early 1980s. He served as chairman and oversaw repairs to the reservoir only last year. He dealt with all matters with utmost efficiency, diligence and integrity.

He was a helpful neighbour; his Golf car could be seen anywhere as he helped people with their gardens or chauffeured them to medical appointments.

Faith was very important to him and he was a regular mass goer. When his neighbour Brigid died on his farm, he never forgot her memory, and Tombreane will never forget him.

He is sorely missed by his brothers John and Jim, nephews Emmet, James, Michael and Paul, sister-in-law Suzanne, aunt Nance in England and his cousins and other relatives.