Enniscorthy Musical Society

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In Memorium


Enniscorthy Musical Society members were saddened by the passing of four dedicated members during the past year.

Paddy Murphy, Monfin, Enniscorthy

Enniscorthy people turned out in large numbers in June to say goodbye to Paddy Murphy of Monfin and formerly of Court Street. Paddy's passing prompted a huge wave of sympathy to his wife Caroline and their children Dearbháil, Tommy and Ali, all of whom took part in shows with EMS. Among those in the church, which was packed to overflowing, were his grieving parents Tommy and Mary, brother Eamonn and sisters Doreen, Eilish, Maura, Kitty and Ann. The Murphy family name is synonymous with Enniscorthy Musical Society – Paddy’s Dad Tommy being one of the founding members. Celebration of the funeral Mass was led by cathedral administrator Father Richard Lawless. Bishop Denis Brennan was among the eleven priests on the altar. The homily was delivered by Father Denis Kelly, parish priest of Screen, who recalled the no nonsense approach to life of his former St. Peter's College classmate. He also spoke of how his deceased friend coped with the multiple sclerosis which cut short his business career as it dogged much of his adult life. In life, Paddy Murphy was a great character with an eclectic breadth of interests that ran from musicals to food. In private, he was devoted to his family - during latter years practically a full-time house parent - his life underpinned by a deep sense of spirituality. 'Paddy was a legend long before he died,' commented Denis Kelly, the truth of his words underlined by the size of the turnout for the obsequies.

Harry Ringwood, Rectory Road, Enniscorthy

News of the passing of Harry Ringwood at the age of 90 was received with regret, not only in his native Enniscorthy but also far beyond. A legend of the stage, the former barber is also remembered as a boxing coach and as a loyal member of the reserve defence forces. He made his mark in the world of theatre as a member of the St. Aidan's dramatic guild, a commanding presence on the stage of the Athenaeum. Later he went on to marshal casts as a director of countless plays, musicals and Tops productions. He is remembered with fond awe in this capacity by those who came under his benign but firm influence far and wide during rehearsals for shows presented by various groups including Enniscorthy Musical Society, as well as branches of Macra na Feirme or ICA . Harry was an Honorary Life Member of EMS. He died in Wexford General Hospital one day shy of the 62nd anniversary of his marriage to his beloved wife Theresa. The couple were heartbroken to lose their daughter Noelle in a road accident. Harry is mourned by his wife and by his surviving children Imelda, Damian, Harry and David. Guards of honour during the obsquies of Harry Ringwood were provided by former military comrades and by the Enniscorthy Musical Society. Bishop Denis Brennan joined St. Senan's parish administrator Father Brian Broaders on the altar during the funeral of a most remarkable and influential man.

Pat Cody, Cherry Orchard, Enniscorthy

Pat Cody, Councillor Cody, Nurse Cody, Comrade Cody was a wonderfully dependable person. A Kilkenny man who thrived in Wexford, a Labour man married into a Fianna Fáil family, he contrived not so much to make light of the differences as to extract something better and stronger from the unlikely combinations. In Pat's hands, old rivalries became new positives touched with good humour.

Pat worked for most of his adult life in a sector of the health service which was transforming itself. Pat sharing the dressing room in the Athenaeum (and later in Coláiste Bríde) at show time for the Enniscorthy Musical Society. Here too he was the dependable one, his party piece being 'The Old Dungarvan Oak'. Two roles particularly linger in the memory. The cotton picking Joe of 'Showboat' revealed the full scope of his deep bass voice in all its splndour. And playing Poor Judd in 'Oklamoma!' allowed him display true acting ability as an unloved loner who was the complete opposite of Pat's own sociable personality. Judd would never have garnered a quota to secure a seat on Enniscorthy TC.

Everyone who knew him followed with growing concern the course of Pat's illness. He went on to take up the challenge of being both town chairman and county council vice-chairman though he must have known in his heart that his defiant shouldering of office would not last the full term. He is a man who will be greatly missed, not only by his family but also across the full range of endeavours where he was never found wanting.

Paddy Whelan, Lower Shannon, Enniscorthy

Retired psychiatric nurse Paddy Whelan from 14 Lower Shannon was a pillar of the community through his contribution to the church and to the stage over many decades with Enniscorthy Musical Society. The 87 year old was pre-deceased late in 2009 by his wife Maureen (née Terry) and by his brothers Eddie and Kevin. He is mourned by his sons Gerard and Des; daughters-in-law Bernie and Mary; his grandchildren, nephews, nieces, other family members and friends. Born and brought up in Enniscorthy, the oldest in a family of 12 children, he found employment close at hand in St. Senan's Hospital, where he worked for more than 40 years up to the time of his retirement in 1988. Away from the hospital, life for Paddy had a firm foundation in marriage to Maureen (née Terry), whom he wed in 1952. The couple had a shared interest in drama back in the days of St. Patrick's Players and later with St. Aidan's dramatic guild and the Enniscorthy Theatre Group. To a subsequent generation Paddy was the make-up man, and the calming presence, in the dressing room of the Enniscorthy Musical Society. He was utterly reliable and the person everyone in a production could confide in. The parish work of both Paddy and Maureen was acknowledged with the awarding of bene merenti medals to both husband and wife in 2009. Paddy was likely to pop up anywhere that a job needed doing, whether assisting in the Eucharistic procession or singing in the choir, roles he continued to carry out into old age.

Thanks to the Enniscorthy Guardian for content

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