MOURNERS at the funeral of a Loughmacrory man who lost one son in the Omagh bomb and a second in a road traffic collision have heard how the strength of his personality helped him cope with the two devastating tragedies.
Mickey Conway, who was aged in his seventies, died on Friday and also held the notable distinction of being the first handballer from Tyrone ever to win an All-Ireland title.
His son, Gareth was just 18 when he was one of 31 people, including unborn twins, who were killed in the August 1998 atrocity on Market Street.
A second son, Tom, died some years later in a traffic accident in England.
Hundreds of people lined the route of the cortege from the family home at Aughiogan Park in Carrickmore to St Mary’s Church in Loughmacrory.
Speaking at the funeral, Fr Thomas Mallon, said Mr Conway had to cope with the loss of wo of his sons in tragic incidents.
“It must have taken all the strength of his personality, and all the consolation he got from his religion to cope with these two incredible family tragedies,” Fr Mallon said.
“The loss of Gareth in the Omagh bomb and Tom in a road accident in England. However, our memory of Mickey will always be associated with happier moments.
“Family was important to Mickey and his family remember him as a kind and loving father.
“He was an outstanding handballer and his achievement in being the first Tyrone player to win an All-Ireland title was an inspiration to local handballers and showed them what could be done. He inspired them to aim for the top.”
The victims organisation, Relatives for Justice, also paid a warm tribute to Mr Conway, saying that the family had suffered greatly since the death of their sons.
Omagh Sinn Fein councillor, Anne Marie Fitzgerald said Mr Conway was a much thought of member from our parish.
“He was seen daily about the area and we were all shocked in hearing of him having such a short illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family especially during this crisis,” she said.
Posted: 1:57 pm October 28, 2020