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.
When he left National School in Carndonagh, Tony qualified for St Columba’s College in Derry.
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 British Government, in matters relating to agriculture.
Tony was known for being fair to those under his command, irrespective of colour or creed but he was a strict disciplinarian who abhorred incompetence.
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's funeral took place in St. Colmcille's Church, Holywood for Requiem Mass at 10.30am followed by committal at Roselawn Crematorium.
A burial service followed in St Mary's Church, Cockhill , Buncrana.
Donations, in lieu if so desired, to N.I. Kidney Patients Association, (NIKPA). C/o O'Kane’s Funeral Directors, at the above address. (048 90243129).
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
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