THE GAA family and the county has been hit hard in recent months with the unexpected deaths of so many its people.
Peter Jones was healthy and active, in fact, the energy with which he approached his many roles in the community is one of the things that set him apart. That, and the number of projects he involved himself in.
Several families across Fermanagh are right now mourning the loss of a mum or dad, spouse and grandparent. Peter leaves behind his wife, Martina, mother to their six children, Leigh (27), Nicola (25), Nathan (23), Naomi (21), Aaron (18) and Ronan (13).
He was spending quality time with his family on a camping trip on Wednesday, 21 July when he got into difficulty in Lough Melvin.
Every parish has that one person who works selflessly and tirelessly behind the scenes for the love of their local community or GAA club.
Peter Jones was that man for his beloved Derrygonnelly Harps and the local church.
As breadwinner and provider, he gave 35 years’ service to Tracey Concrete, an achievement on its own.
Almost every other GAA club across County Fermanagh took to their social media platforms right away to pay their own tribute to Peter Jones, a testament to how far and wide his reputation for
sportsmanship and dedication was recognised.
When his playing days ended, Peter straight away threw himself into coaching roles. He may also hold the title of most reliable linesman and lottery-seller in GAA, always turning up, always raising the funds needed to keep a club strong.
Peter and Martina were also central to the huge fundraising effort required to renovate the three churches in their home parish. He was the go-to person who could be relied upon to execute the role of Covid guidelines steward for parishioners.
As a coach, Peter knew the importance of that time children spend in the backyard at home with a ball in hand and, so he set about ensuring every child in his parish would own their own gaelic ball.
He took it upon himself to write every county board in Ireland requesting one of their jerseys to raffle off and with the proceeds bought balls for each and every one of the Harps’ future stars.
The massive display of respect and genuine heartbreak shown to Peter Jones and his family following his sudden passing has to be remarked upon.
Below, the Herald has compiled a tribute to a remarkable family and community man, whose contribution to Fermanagh life will be remembered long after his untimely death.
Self-confessed “Daddy’s Girl”, Naomi Jones (21) said the following about her father:
“Daddy was always there for us, no matter how big or small the problem. He never complained about life – he was so content living a healthy and happy life with his loved ones. Daddy was so invested in all six of us.
“Our memories of Daddy will last a lifetime. One of our greatest blessings in life has been the man we called our Dad.”
Derrygonnelly Harps Chairman, Donal Corrigan said: “Peter Jones was a pure rock of a man. If anyone wanted any inspiration, Peter Jones was that inspiration.
“He was never at the forefront of anything but, he worked so far. He worked so hard.
“Over 100 members showed up to the club when we called a meeting and everybody told the same stories about this quiet, strong, sound man, who always had your back.
“Someone taking a lovely, simple family holiday in his own county, that sums Peter up.”
Patsy Tracey of Tracey Concrete said the following: “Peter gave 35 years of outstanding service to the company, became a part of the management team and played a vital role in the growth and development of the business.
“He was greatly loved and admired by all his work colleagues. Peter was a man of great integrity, an honest, hardworking, loyal work colleague and employee. He never looked for the limelight preferring instead to work diligently in the background.
“We will always be grateful to have known Peter and for the contribution he made to Tracey Concrete.”
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