5 December 2017

Remembrance Service for deceased IMWA members

 Members of the Irish Motoring Writers Association and representatives of the Irish motor trade attended a Service of Remembrance for deceased IMWA members on Thursday 30 November 2017.

Relatives of many of those being remembered were also in attendance. The ecumenical service was conducted by Rev Alan Rufli in the Church of Ireland on North Main Street, Rathcoole.

IMWA Chairman David Walsh said it was an occasion 'not of sadness, but of joy in happy memories' of those whom were being brought to mind. "We are fortunate, given the Association has been in existence for some 41 years, that it is still a relatively short list," he said "But each person on it has left a significant legacy to a history of Irish motoring journalism, and to friendship."

Those whose names were read out, and to whose memory candles were lit, included Tom Barker of the Cork Examiner; rally driver Des Bradley who wrote for the Irish Times and several of contemporary motoring publications; and Tony Colley who had used his multimedia skills to bring motoring journalism to television in Dublin.

Pat Comyn, who passed away in July of this year, was long-time motoring editor with the Sunday Independent.

Brian and Mary Foley published Auto Ireland and Autowoman magazines. Mary died in 2012 and Brian in 2016. Andrew Hamilton, who died in 2006, was one of Ireland's best known motoring journalists through his work with the Irish Times.

Niall Hanley, Editor of the Evening Herald, was the first Chairman of the IMWA. He died in the tragic Beaujolais crash of November 1984. Motoring journalist Hugh McGrillen was also remembered.

Ferdia O’Dowd, renowned agricultural journalist and motoring writer, latterly with The Sunday Business Post, passed away in April 2012. Gerry Proctor, publisher of Portfolio Magazine in the Dublin Docklands business hub, died in 2013.

John Reilly from Ballina was a founder of Irish Car and other magazines, as well as being motoring columnist in the Western People and other publications. He passed away after a short illness in 2004.

Brian Thornton from Galway, who died in 2003 after a long illness, was a motoring writer of distinction in the Clare Champion and the Connaught Tribune. Malachy Walsh from Crosshaven in Cork, who passed away in January of this year, was a renowned motoring journalist and businessman.

The occasion was also an opportunity to recall members of the Irish motor industry who passed away in recent times. Among them Nigel O’Flaherty of Motor Distributors Limited; Doug McCoy late of Jaguar Land Rover; cars and motorcycle racer Des Cullen; and Robert ‘Pino’ Harris.

Teresa Noone attended on behalf of The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), and Brian Harnett represented Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Pictured above are some of the relatives and friends of deceased members present for the memorial service. Back — Don Hall of Hall PR, Dublin 4, who represented Joy Hamilton, sister of the late Andrew Hamilton; and Ronan Foley (Kilcullen, Co Kildare) grandson of the late Brian and Mary Foley. Front: Rev Alan Rufli, Parish of Clondalkin & Rathcoole, Dublin; Grace Stroughaire (Dublin) and her sister Pamela Thornton (Galway) wife of the late Brian Thornton; Bernard Bradley and his mother Pat (Dublin), representing the late Des Bradley; Sinead Foley (Kilcullen) representing her parents Brian Foley and Mary Schwer Foley; and Dave Walshe, Chairman of the Irish Motoring Writers Association.