THE unexpected death of former leading Fermanagh car sales businessman and Derrylin resident, Sean Gilleece, aged 80 years, evoked shock and sadness over a widespread area.
Christened John Edward he was the youngest of a family of four of John and Elizabeth Gilleece, Nedd.
Having trained as a mechanic at an early age, Sean started his first garage in Derrylin at the site of the present McGovern’s Cars.
That was during the showband era and it was at a dance that he met Teasie (Teresa) Murphy, whom he married in 1955, settling at Main Street and raising a family of six.
In the mid 70’s he moved his business to Enniskillen, establishing Gilleece’s Cars on the Cornagrade Road and securing the Datsun and later Renault agency, developing it into a hugely successful venture.
With a keen business acumen, he helped set up M&S Tyres and other agencies, also extending business to Bundoran with a garage and petrol station.
His two great pastime interests were avidly following the Fermanagh GAA senior team and watching Formula One racing on TV, supporting great Renault team drivers like Alain Prost.
He loved bringing his family on Sunday drives, Rossnowlagh a favourite holiday venue.
He also lived his life as a man of deep faith, prayer and integrity.
A daily Mass goer in retirement, a lifelong Pioneer, he made many pilgrimages to Knock.
The untimely death of their eldest daughter, Siobhan (McGovern) in 2018 came as a huge blow to Sean and Teasie.
Also predeceased by his brother Pat and sister Rita, Sean is survived by son Mark, daughters Mary, Ciara, Orla and Therese, grandchildren, Lauren, Michael and Laoise, sister Angela.
Though unavoidably absent, Ciara (Australia) and Angela (England), had the consolation of being able to follow, via webcam, the Requiem Mass in St Ninnidh’s Church concelebrated by Fr Gerard Alwill and Fr Denis Murray. Burial took place at the adjoining graveyard.