Michael Sheeran: Tributes paid after death of former Leinster Leader editor

The world of journalism meant a lot to Michael Sheeran, the congregation at his funeral mass in Derrinturn last Friday was told.

The world of journalism meant a lot to Michael Sheeran, the congregation at his funeral mass in Derrinturn last Friday was told.

The point was further made when, during the Prayers of the Faithful, family members included a prayer asking God to protect journalists in the pursuit of the truth.

Fr. John Fitzpatrick said there was widespread shock at the death on Monday night, February 18, of the 62-year-old journalist and former editor.

A native of Kill, Michael Sheeran had a wide variety of contacts as a result of his years in the journalism trade.

He had shown a keen interest, and talent, in writing at school. A one-time Kildare minor footballer, since 1979 he lived at Dreenane, Carbury.

His early career brought him to The Kerryman, which he loved. He also worked with the Enniscorthy Echo in Wexford.

He had a brief spell with the Leinster Leader in the 1979-80 period before moving to the national media. He had a long association with the Evening Press.

Another long spell was with the Star newspaper, where he was instrumental in setting up the sports section. When the time came to move on he returned to his native county in 1998 to edit the Leinster Leader, something which he always wanted to do.

Fr. Fitzpatrick said Michael relished a challenge and was a good listener. He was also a good golfer.

Michael’s son, Phillip, delivered a series of snapshots of a life around family and journalism, his father would have loved. He was a “a proud journalist”, said Phillip, recalling stories of Michael’s sojourns into Mulligan’s of Poolbeg Street with the late Con Houlihan.

He recalled a father who was always entertaining, awkward, outgoing loving and generous.

He recalled debates they had and how they considered it a miracle their parents remained together, how Michael relished argument and debate with friends, the house full of books.

He reminded us that Michael had studied for a masters in communication in Dublin City University.

Phillip said the last two years of Michael’s life were tough, from a health point of view.

Thanking everyone who had supported the family since Michael’s passing on 18 February, he said his father would have been proud to see so many people. “We sincerely thank you all. We are truly humbled.”

Michael is survived by his wife, Mary, sons Phillip, Emmet and Colm, sisters, Roisin and Pat, brother, Joe, grandchildren, Dessa, Inez and Eric, daughter-in-law, Katy, and Phillip’s partner, Eibhlis.

- Henry Bauress