'gentle giant' | 

Bikers turn up to mourn ‘gentleman’ Longford motorcyclist who died last weekend

Father of four Seanie Reilly died following a two vehicle crash at Esker South, Ballinalee, Co Longford last Saturday afternoon

Seanie Reilly

Liam Cosgrove

A motorcyclist who died following a crash in Co Longford last week has been remembered as a “true gentleman” and a man whose smile “could turn any wet day into sunshine.”

Father of four Seanie Reilly died following a two vehicle crash at Esker South, Ballinalee, Co Longford last Saturday afternoon.

Large swathes of mourners brought the north Longford village of Drumlish to a standstill today to remember the much loved and respected motorbike enthusiast.

Dozens of motorcyclists from Mr Reilly’s beloved Devils Disciples Motorcycle Club and beyond led a raucous funeral procession into St Mary’s Church for a service that was as unique as it was befitting of the Longford man’s persona.

Dozens of sympathisers stood solemnly outside as Mr Reilly’s coffin, draped in his own motorcycle club’s flag was led into the church.

Inside, chief celebrant Fr Bernard Hogan empathised with Mr Reilly’s wife Sinead and family, saying the tragic events of seven days earlier had cast a deep shadow over the local community.

“Seanie was a biker and loved the thrill and freedom that came with that,” he said.

“When Seanie set out on his motorbike last Saturday to help a friend, little did know how his journey would end.

“Sinead and family would not be prepared for the devastating news that was to follow.

“The sense of shock and loss that filled the pages of social media over the past week from family, bikers, associates, neighbours and friends all expressing their sense of shock and loss at how Seanie had made his final journey and the sound of his motorbike silenced, to be heard no more.”

The Drumlish parish priest said Mr Reilly’s untimely death was one which had brought untold heartbreak to the door of those who had unwittingly been caught up in last Saturday’s tragedy.

“We cannot forget that another family is also suffering at this time,” he said.

“Nobody sets out to cause an accident or to be in an accident but such events happen and the resulting pain is not confined to anyone, but reaches into the lives of many.”

Fr Hogan also told of how various social media platforms had been flooded with heart-rending tributes in the days since, messages he said which illustrated Mr Reilly’s warm and affable character.

“The tributes paid online testified to that,” he said.

“Some of the relevant quotes from his peers and friends speak of a true gentleman, a gentle giant with a willingness to help others and a smile that would turn any wet day into sunshine.”

Symbols indicative of those sentiments were brought to the altar close family members.

Among them included a helmet, exemplifying Mr Reilly’s passion for motorbikes, family photographs and a cup of tea, symptomatic of the auto electrician specialist’s genial nature.

In a moving eulogy, his long time friend and Devils Disciples Motorycle Club member, B.A. spoke of a man who, together with his wife Sinead, dedicated his life to help others, most typically through his involvement with Longford Food Bank.

“They loved and had pride in their community and invited untold numbers of people into their home for food and shelter,” he said.

“It occurred to me then that it was this trait that played no small part in the makings of this man, a man of such physical presence.

“He loved his family, he doted on his children and was very proud of them.

“He was loved by everyone whose lives he touched. Seanie (Bull) Reilly lives in our hearts now and I am lucky to have met, he was my friend and I will miss him.”

Following funeral mass, a large convoy of motorcycles led Mr Reilly’s hearse to Longford’s Ballymacormack Cemetery for burial.

The late Mr Reilly is survived by his wife Sinead, sons Darragh, Darwin & Peter, daughter Katie, his Mammy Mary, brother Gerard, sister Antoinette, brothers-in-law Sean and Noel, sister-in-law Mary, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, his brothers from the Devils Disciples MC Ireland, relatives, Good neighbours, and wide circle of friends.

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