THE haunting skirl of bagpipe lament broke the cemetery hush as one of the Teemore area’s best known, and certainly most popular, personalities was bourne to the graveside.
For Gerry McManus, so aptly described by former Teemore Curate, Fr. Maurice McMorrow PP, as “the heart and soul of the parish”, was, as he continued “surreal, happy and serene to the last.
“Everyone who knew Gerry, never forgot him”.
Gerry, who passed away after a brave battle with illness, was particularly associated with the Mountain Road Pipe Band as lead piper, his proudest moment being participation in the New York St. Patrick’s Day parade on 5th Avenue.
A piper of note, he often performed solo too, at funerals and other community occasions, band members in full uniform paying moving funeral tribute to him in turn.
Aged 66, the youngest son of Tom and Kathleen McManus, Drumanymore, he was a lorry driver with the Quinn Group for most of his working life.
Membership of St. Vincent De Paul local branch and Parish Council among his community contributions, he was also heavily involved in local entertainment events like pantomime and mock wedding, hilariously playing the groom in the latter.
A loyal member of the Teemore Shamrocks club, his coffin draped in a green and white jersey, the club expressing in a tribute statement: “It is with great sadness that we express our sincere sympathies to the McManus family on the passing of club stalwart Gerry McManus.
“He and his wife Catherine have been tireless supporters and servants of the club down through the years.
“Always willing to help out where needed; his absence from our recent blitz, where he has acted as piper in the past, was noticed and felt.
Gerry’s son Ciaran is an Executive member and senior player, and his family is very involved in the whole club”.
Gerry was a man of deep faith, “devoted to the Mass and church choir”, said Fr. McMorrow, adding that it surely helped sustain him cope when he encountered great tragedy in his life.
The death of son Edward in a 2001 road accident, given added poignancy by the fact that it occurred so close to his Drumanymore home.
Also the 2014 death of his brother Peter in Canada.
Gerry is survived by his wife, Catherine (nee Donnelly), daughter Geraldine (Colm), sons Paul (Edel) and Ciaran (Jolene), brother Ray (Kathleen) and sister Maureen (Drumm).
Following Requiem Mass in St. Mary’s Church, Teemore, greatly enhanced by a beautiful appreciation delivered by his daughter Geraldine, interment took place in the adjoining cemetery.
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