Organisers of Virginia Show have paid tribute to a lifelong member, past president, board member and stalwart, Sean Farrelly, who passed away earlier this week following a short illness.
The Clear View House, Drumgora, Virginia, Co. Cavan native died on August 16th, 2022, just days before the popular one-day event, which will take place on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022.
Sean had attended meetings in preparation for the 79th 2022 show.
A spokesperson explained that Farrelly was “more than a cornerstone” of Virginia Show.
“He and his family are at the heart. No matter who arrived to Virginia Show, it was Sean’s smiling face that greeted them at the main gate for over 40 years.”
“He seemed at home in the white coat talking to everyone on the street. With Sean’s unfailing smile and good humour, there was no rush or panic.”
“Everyone knew the gate would run like clockwork. With his firm handshake, he made everyone feel special.”
He had served in a number of senior roles on the show committee and was president in 2013, where he had the honour of leading the show in the celebration of the 75th show in 2016.
His father, Thomas Farrelly, was “key” to building the Farmers’ Hall and Virginia Vocational School (now Virginia College).
Sean followed his father and was instrumental in the building of the Virginia Show Centre and continued as a “valuable” member of the committee.
Sean led the society through “far-reaching” changes, which have improved the lives of the community in Virginia and surrounding areas.
The spokesperson continued:
“The show society has the honour of having four generations of the extended Farrelly family involved in the show.”
“The Farrelly family are founding members of the show and continue to be at the heart of it.”
“Sean and his grandchildren, no matter what the age, were a familiar sight on the showgrounds, ensuring that everything would be ready for the big day.”
“Anthony, Yvonne, Joan, Orla, Emer, John and Aine continue in Sean’s footsteps and hold key roles in the committee.”
“The wider Farrelly family, sons-in-law Sean, Gerry, Martin, Brendan and Daithi, daughters-in-law Vivienne and Maggie, his cherished grandchildren, and his brother PJ, all play an important role in the smooth running of the agricultural show and have done so for many years.”
Organisers say there will be “lots” of heartfelt memories shared about him up to and including show day and “long after it”.
“As the marquees go up, we will always remember his legacy at Virginia Show. May he rest in peace with his beloved wife, Kay. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis,” the spokesperson concluded.