'A loving, compassionate man' recalled at Portlaoise Funeral Mass of Joe 'The Hesh' McCormack

Pat Somers

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Pat Somers

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'A loving, compassionate man' - Joe 'The Hesh' McCormack is laid to rest

Joe McCormack makes his final journey

A family man who was loving, compassionate and creative was remembered at the Funeral Mass of Joe 'The Hesh' McCormack in SS Peter and Paul's Church in Portlaoise on Wednesday morning. 

The chief celebrant, Fr David Vard recalled a man who was "full of mercy, full of hunger and a thirst for what is right." 
"His love of his family, his late wife Theresa, sport, Portlaoise and Laois was with him to the very end, Fr Vard said. "He fought for others and one can imagine him arguing with God for those down here. "He also showed great respect for those he argued with and always wanted the best for this town. "Even at one stage an airport. It might have seemed mad at the time, but it would certainly be handy now, with all the traffic."


The gifts brought to the altar reflected 'The Hesh's' life: a family photo, book of poetry, a hurley for his love of sport, the Irish Constitution, the Irish Independent, the collar for his dog Lucky, an election poster, a Leeds jersey and an accordion. 

Son Larry noted his love of and pride in family. "There was only one Hesh and we were proud to call him father," he said. 


His grand daughter said that in later years he had put his raw emotions, passions and fears into writing his own poetry.
She read a poem of his titled 'Death the final victory' 


'Lay me down in my resting place
That place of love and grace were i have often strayed 
To pray for friends therein laid 
My dear beloved friends. 
It has been a long and hard race 
Now its time to take my place 
In victory I come to you 


Lay me down in my resting place 
Where I have so longed to be 
With you my beloved friends for all eternity 
I did my best for all to see 
I left it behind as a legacy 
And now I can do no more you see 
In victory I come to join you 


Lay me down in my resting place 
In my native land forever 
I hope that I will rest in peace after my great endeavour 
I loved my friends and expecially the poor
I could not do very much more 
They are waiting for me at heavens door 
In victory i come to you 


Lay me down in my resting place 
With God's help and through his grace 
My soul will go to a better place 
To a beautiful place called heaven 
I hope to see my beloved poor friends 
In the splendour of all that is holy 
If I am so deserving 
Then in victory I come to join you'