Warm tributes have been paid following the sad passing of Martin ‘Bunny’ Carroll.
Mr Carroll, from Marian Avenue in Portlaoise, died peacefully, in the loving care of his wife Chris, and daughters Sinead, Louise and Karen on Saturday December 19.
A very popular figure, news of Martin’s passing has been met with an outpouring of emotion online.
A keen sportsman, Martin had involvement in GAA, soccer and golf clubs over the years – all of which paid tribute to him.
Mountrath Golf Club, of which Martin was a former captain, said: “It is with great sadness that we woke this morning to the news that our member and friend Martin Bunny Carroll passed away during the night.
“Martin, a former Seniors captain, was one of the great characters in the club and a loyal member who always wore his heart on his sleeve.
“As his many golfing friends will know Bunny was very proud to be a member of our club and affectionately referred to it as Mountrath Golf and Country Club.
“A very sad way to start the Christmas period. Martin, may you Rest In Peace.”
The soccer and GAA clubs in Portlaoise, of which Martin was heavily involved with in various capacity, also recognised his sad passing.
Portlaoise AFC said: “The club would like to extend condolences to the family of Martin Bunny Carroll.
“Bunny was a player, manager and committee member of the club for many years. May he rest in peace.”
While Portlaoise GAA said: “All at Portlaoise GAA are very sad to hear of the passing of Martin Bunny Carroll this morning, a former member and great supporter but most of a all a lovely man and great townie, RIP Bunny.”
A talented singer, Martin performed with the Tipperary Gospel Choir and they also paid a heartfelt tribute.
They said: “What can we say, so sad today to hear of the passing of Bunny (Martin ) Carroll one of our dedicated members.
“Always up for the laugh, kind and helpful to all members. He will be sadly missed by family and friends.
“Choir memories of him messing in the back row of the choir , making the girls giggle. Thank you Bunny for the fun and song ‘Go down Moses’.”
Business people in Laois also penned tributes to the late Mr Carroll with lifelong friend Jack Nolan posting: “Woke to the news that my near life long pal Bunny Carroll had passed away.
“I knew Bunny had many health battles that he came back from and I truly expected him to beat this one but alas it wasn’t to be.
“Bunny was some character but more importantly he was a great friend to me and so many other people that had the privilege to know him.
“While his beloved family were his first love he had many other passions like The Town, Laois, Man Utd, Golf, Soccer, Lanzarote, Little Lanzarote (Tramore) and The Gospel Choir and just having the crack with people.
“His humour and wit were infectious. When he replaced his father as Porter in the Bank of Ireland he also took on the job of minding my shop and there was never a dull moment.
“Some 30 years ago when I started on radio he came through the shop door with 3 or 4 customers inside.
“Pointing at me he proclaimed “there he is Laois answer to Charlie Bird”. My chest rose only for him to finish…” its Jackdaw”. No one was spared.
“God rest you Bunny. Deepest sympathy to all his devoted family.”
While local publican Stapo Brown posted: “Shocking to hear the sad news this morning of the passing of Martin Bunny Carroll.
“An absolute legend and character in Portlaoise town. A lot of us would of have played under Bunny with Portlaoise AFC and in later years, Town Celtic FC.
“Some brilliant memories and trophy’s won along the way with his brother Mick and a lot of great players in Marian Avenue.
“Mick and Brian Rodgers, Scratch Conroy and Minnie Brennan to name a few. On behalf of all associated with Town Celtic FC, in those fantastic years, deepest sympathy to all his immediate family and his many friends all over.
“Another great PORTLAOISE character gone to meet the boys up above?? REST IN PEACE BUNNY.”
Due to present circumstances, a private family funeral will take place.
Requiem Mass for Martin will take place on Monday at 2pm in St. Peter and Paul ‘s Church, Portlaoise and will be live streamed on https://www.portlaoiseparish.ie/webcam/
Interment afterwards in St. Peter and Paul’s Cemetery. People are welcome to stand in the churchyard or cemetery while observing social distancing.
May Martin Rest in Peace.