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first_imgThe remains of the late Tom Gilmartin ar carried to the grave by family members as his wheelchair bound wife Vera looks on.The son of Mahon Tribunal whistleblower Tom Gilmartin said his father never got the apology he was owed by the Irish state.Thomas Gilmartin Jnr received a huge applause at St Michael’s Church in Urris earlier today as he remembered the life and times of his late father. Almost 200 mourners gathered at the picturesque church on the rugged Inishowen Peninsula overlooking Tullagh Bay.Family and friends gathered with locals as Tom, 78, whose wife Vera is a native of the area, was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.Tom’s son Thomas Jnr broke with the normal tradition to read his eulogy in memory of his father at the start of mass.During his touching tribute to his father, he occasionally looked towards the coffin containing his father. On top of the coffin lay two pictures of a young Mr Gilmartin alone and one with his beloved wife Vera.Thomas Jnr told how his father was touched by corruption from an early age – even before he started his career.“Unfortunately as is very common in the Ireland of the 1940s and 1950s, opportunities to make the most of his God given talents were few and far between.“Nonetheless he managed to get a place in Agricultural college and did so well in his exams that he was told to get ready to com to Dublin to take up a job in the Civil Service.“A short time later he was told that his place had been taken by someone else that had not done nearly as well – but someone that had a relative well-placed.”When he returned from England to work in England he found it was a  similar place that he had left all those years ago. “Unfortunately my father was let down by people for whom moral scruples or the type my father lived by was seen as a weakness.“Later he never wavered his commitment to the truth even when subjected to extraordinary pressure.“He would never perjure himself even when it was disadvantageous for him to tell the truth such was his honestly and his religious faith.“Dad loved his country and was a proud Irishman. It truly grieved him as the son of a man who fought for the independence of his country to see the sacrifices of his father’s generation disregarded by lesser men. “It is a source of great sadness to us his family that dad was never truly given the credit he deserved for what he did or the apology he was owed for what was done to him. He deserved better.“But that era was only a drop in the ocean compared to his life as a whole,” he said.A native of Lislary, Co Sligo, Mr Gilmartin spent much of his working life in Luton, Bedfordshire, before acquiring land in west Dublin for a planned shopping centre.His name will forever be linked to a shopping centre, originally planned for Quarryvale, which subsequently became the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, after Mr Gilmartin was squeezed out of the project.His payments to Fianna Fáil politicians and his allegations of bribery demands from others led to his becoming a key witness in the Quarryvale module of the Mahon Tribunal.Mr Gilmartin latterly lived in Cork with his family.He died peacefully at Cork University Hospital last Friday morning.Thomas Jnr also remember the lighter moments of his father’s life and how he loved only very strong tea – with a “teabag or four.”He revealed how Tom had returned to his native Sligo a year ago for the last time.“Dad always remained a proud Sligo man and took time to tell stories there about his adventures as a young man. And 40 odd years in England did not even leave the slightest trace on his accent.“Going back there last year on what would be his final visit home was a great privilege for my wife and myself. As we walked along the shoreline beside his birthplace it was if as if he was reliving his boyhood and it was very moving to see a mixture of joy and sadness in him as he did.”As he fought back tears, Thomas Jnr added he genuinely thought his father was a one-off.“It is sometimes an exaggeration to say that we will not see someone’s like again. But in my father’s case it is true. He was a one off,” he said.He added that his own life with be a lot quieter and a lot less colourful place without his dad to talk to.“I was blessed to have him as my beloved father”As Tom Gilmartin was lowered to his final resting place, his family including his four children and wheelchair-bound wife Vera dropped yellow and red roses on top of his coffin.The bright floral tributes contrasted starkly to the grey skyline of the Inishowen Peninsula under which Tom Gilmartin was laid to rest forever.TOM GILMARTIN LAID TO REST IN INISHOWEN AS SON SAYS HE NEVER GOT APOLOGY was last modified: November 26th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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