great life | 

Sharon Shannon pays tribute to her late father as she opens up about his death

The 93 year old died on December 23rd
Sharon and her late father

Sharon and her late father

Clodagh Meaney

Sharon Shannon has paid tribute to her late father as she opened up about his death.

I.J Shannon who died on December 23rd was buried on St Stephen’s Day.

The 93-year-old, fondly called “the great 'Daddy Shannon” passed away unexpectedly but peacefully with his family by his side.

“We are all grateful and relieved that he didn't have to suffer, and that he was in the comfort of his own home when he slipped away,” Sharon shared.

“He was 93, almost 94 actually and he had a great life. If we could, we'd be holding on to him for another 94 years.”

“It goes without saying that we will all miss him enormously, but he got a mighty send off that he'd have been proud of with plenty of music and singing and stories."

Sharing her father’s eulogy which was written by his son Garry, Sharon said that the “upbeat” piece was read at his funeral mass.

“He loved animals, the cattle, the sheep, the goats, the hens and geese, and the cats and dogs...and especially horses.”

“He and our mother drove us all over the country bringing us to gymkhanas and horse shows. That was his real passion.”

“He had revolutionary driving techniques, especially driving on the right hand side of the road coming up to a bend – so that if there was anything coming, he’d see them sooner and In spite of how fast he drove, we were never in time for school.”

The eulogy also shared how her father helped shape her career as a musician.

“He was always singing and had bits of dozens of songs - and no full song! He introduced us to music by bringing a traveller musician home from the creamery one day to play the mouth organ for us and stay for the dinner.”

“He brought us to the Teach Ceoil in Corofin for music classes every week, and to Toonagh for the Ceilis and later to the Fleadhs all over the country – the whole lot of us in a small caravan.”

As he got old, he still helped at the family farm, but had depression and declining health over the last 20 years.

“He was mainly positive. He used up all his nine lives in close shaves over the last 20 years, and was fiercely determined every time to recover and to keep himself in working order with exercises, riding the go-kart and so on. We all thought he was indestructible because of all the times he came back from the dead.”

“He was very proud of us and of his 11 grandchildren and loved to slip them a few bob to encourage them to visit him and he loved to meet their girlfriends and boyfriends – even though he struggled to pronounce some of their names.”


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