Tributes have been paid following the sad passing of a popular member of a local men’s shed.
Kildare native Gerry Murphy was a member of Portlaoise Men’s Shed.
Originally from Celbridge in Kildare, Mr Murphy lived in Newcastle in Dublin but was a member of the Laois group.
Gerry was an avid apiculturalist and recognised as one of the country’s leading beekeepers.
He was a passionate member of the Dunamaise Beekeepers’, a well known and knowledgeable figure around their Stradbally apiaries.
It was his love of nature and interest in conservation and biodiversity that first led to his involvement in the Portlaoise Mens’ Shed.
Here he fostered a skill in building beehives, a course which he tutored with enthusiasm, getting a rise out of his colleagues and no small amount of slagging when he would arrive at each class with a tray of ‘queen cakes.’
Gerry had a profound commitment to community endeavours and also campaigned passionately to protect native Irish bee species.
Portlaoise Men’s Shed paid tribute to Mr Murphy, who they described as a gentleman, on their Facebook page.
They posted: “A sad sad day for our shed with the passing of one of our elder members.
“Gerry Murphy, gentleman, scholar and avid bee keeper always ready to help out whatever the task or chore.
“Our condolences and sincerest sympathies to Collette (wife), Shane (grandson) and extended family and friends.
“May he rest in peace.”
Mr Murphy passed away suddenly at his home on Thursday.
He is deeply regretted by his loving wife Colette, daughters Ruth and Roseann, sons in law Thomas and Tom, grandsons Shane and TJ, granddaughter Emily, sisters in law, brothers in law, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends, especially those in Dunamaise Beekeepers Association.
In accordance with government directives and in the interest of public health a private family funeral will take place.
The funeral Mass can be viewed on www.celstra.ie on Monday at 11am.
Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to Irish Heart Foundation