Hundreds gather in Nenagh to bid a fond farewell to Jack, 101

Family and friends carry the coffin bearing Jack Powell, from Ballinaclough, Nenagh, who died aged 101, following his Requiem service in St Mary's Church of Ireland  Picture: Bridget Delaney
Hundreds of people gathered in Nenagh last Friday to say goodbye to one of the town’s - if not the country’s - best loved vets.

Hundreds of people gathered in Nenagh last Friday to say goodbye to one of the town’s - if not the country’s - best loved vets.

Jack Powell from Ballinaclough, who died on February 6 in his 102nd year, was laid to rest in Toomevara following a Requiem service in St Mary’s Church of Ireland.

And it was fitting that Jack’s last journey should be in Ireland’s only Volkswagen hearse as he had not driven anything other than a VW since he bought his first one in 1953.

In a warm and humorous tribute to his dad, Richard Powell said VW were going to miss Jack and recalled that his father had collected his last VW on his 100th birthday from Tom Harvey Motors in Thurles.

“They will be happy to know the hearse was made by Volkswagen,” he said, revealing that Jack had only got his licence renewed last September.

Mr Powell said that he had spoken to his father about saying a few words at his funeral and while he joked whether or not his father would like “nice words or the truth”, he always knew he would say nice words. But, he said, Jack had told him he was not sure whether he was “going upstairs or down below”. However, it didn’t bother him because he was “sure he had friends in both places”.

“We all adored dad and there was nothing he couldn’t do. He brought certainty to all our lives,” said Richard.

He described how he and his brother, John, would go on their father’s rounds as children as a “privilege and a wonderful education”.

“Animals were his life but the farmers were his friends,” he said.

Full report in this week’s Tipperary Star