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Death of Mayo music and boxing legend

Thursday, 21st January, 2016 1:08pm
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Death of Mayo music and boxing legend
Death of Mayo music and boxing legend

THE death has taken place at Mayo University Hospital of Michael Basquille, Newport Road, Castlebar.

In his late 70s, the deceased was widely known throughout the county though of his involvement with the Castlebar Concert Band, Mayo Concert Orchestra, Mayo Male Voice Choir and Castlebar Boxing Club.

A native of McHale Road, he worked as a carpenter with the former Western Health Board for many years and had a long association with Moran’s Bakery in the town.

He was predeceased by his brothers Walter (Wally), a noted boxer, and Paddy, a former treasurer of Mayo GAA County Board.

In his youth, Michael was an accomplished boxer and, following his retirement, he gave long hours to coaching young members before qualifying as a boxing referee.

His deep love of music inspired him to spearhead the establishment of the Mayo Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA), which purchased a premises last year at Breaffy Road Business Park. He last played with Castlebar Concert Band at the annual carols service at Christ Church before Christmas.

In a tribute to him, Declan Hynes, chairman of Castlebar Concert Band and Mayo Concert Orchestra, said Michael’s contribution to the organisations was outstanding.

He stated: "He played the bass with the Town Band for over 50 years and was one of the founding member of the Mayo Concert Orchestra back in 1995. He was a founding member of the Mayo Male Voice Choir in the late '90s. He sang with the Church of the Holy Rosary choir and was simply steeped in music.

"He was president of the Castlebar Concert Band, Mayo Concert Orchestra and Mayo Youth Orchestra, and was a member the MAPA board charged with locating, purchasing and fitting out of a premises for the sole purpose of musical education and rehearsals in one state-of-the-art headquarters in Castlebar.

"Michael was loved by all within our organisations, young and old. He was a true legend. He will truly be missed but will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace."

He is survived by his wife Mary, sons Justin, Paul and Mark, daughters Marie and Michelle, extended family, relatives and friends.

His remains will be reposing at his residence on Friday evening from 4 o’clock until 7 o’clock.

Removal takes place on Saturday morning at 10 o’clock to the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar, for Requiem Mass at 11 o’clock. Burial takes place afterwards in Ballyheane Cemetery.

 

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