Monday, October 4, was a sad day for the Bourke family and the communities of Breaffy and Castlebar as word spread of the death of Dick Bourke. Nobody expected his sudden passing despite the many years that Dick endured physical incapacity due to a stroke suffered 12 years ago. Dick was a familiar sight on the roads of Breaffy and Castlebar in his silver car. He always had a smile and a wave. A short stay in hospital was usually the reason for Dick's absence from the road.
Dick worked for over three decades as a butcher at St. Mary's Hospital. He was recognised by his peers as one of the best in the trade and Dick himself took great pride in his work.
His colleagues at St Mary's were always important to him and both patients and staff who worked with Dick in the slaughter house often commented on the fun and the atmosphere that prevailed there.
Dick was one of 10 children, having six brothers and three sisters. From a young age Dick helped to provide for his family and this charitable aspect of his character continued throughout his life.
It was not uncommon to hear Dick enquire about the wellbeing of others or if something could be done to help out.
The large turnout at his funeral was testament to the esteem in which Dick was held.
Religion played an important part in Dick's life and the Mass was central to this.
Dick and Ruby travelled to Lourdes on a number of occasions and he found great comfort in his faith. When he was unable to attend Mass he always listened to 10 a.m. Sunday Mass on Midwest Radio.
Dick and Ruby loved to dance and socialise. There was always good craic when Dick was around and the witty way he told a story or made a comment endeared him to others.
Despite his physical incapacity, which would have proved extremely difficult for many, Dick continued to live a full and active life and was an example to all of us in overcoming the difficulties and challenges that life can sometimes present.
Dick's wife Ruby died eight years ago. This left a huge void in the life of Dick and his children. Despite this he always remained upbeat and interested in the wellbeing of his family and friends.
Dick loved children. He was very good to his nieces and nephews and brought most of them to school and back on a daily basis. He never lost an opportunity to let them know of any mischief they had been up to and as they entered adulthood they appreciated greatly what Dick had done for them. This was evident in the way they mourned his passing and reminisced in the days following his death.
Dick had a special place in his heart for his three grandchildren and they were always sure of sweets and goodies from granddad.
Dick is survived by his three daughters Valerie, Denise and Jennifer, his sons-in-law Chris, Sean and David, granddaughter Alicia; grandsons Matthew and Ethan; sisters Mary, Rita and Celine, brothers Tom, Billy, Michael, Edward, Tony and Gerard, sisters in law; brothers in law; cousins; nieces and nephews.
His remains were removed from Kilcoyne's Funeral Home, Thomas Street, Castlebar, on Wednesday to St Aloysius Church, Breaffy, where they were received by Fr. John McCormack SMA, Fr. Michael Nohilly SMA and Fr Brendan Hoban SSC.
Requiem Mass on Thursday was celebrated by Fr. McCormack, assisted by Columban Fathers Brendan Hoban, Pat Raleigh and Cyril Lovett, Fr. Willie Cummins and Fr. Atty Devine, who married Dick and Ruby.
Burial took place in Breaffy Cemetery where Dick is laid to rest alongside Ruby.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.