03 Jul 2022

A man of great faith and who dearly loved his family is laid to rest

Eamon Campbell was the Donegal manager who guided Donegal to their first Nicky Rackard Cup final

A man of great faith and who dearly loved his family is laid to rest

Those gathered at the Funeral Mass of the late Eamon Campbell heard how the terminally ill grandfather struggled to the altar to hand his youngest daughter Clare formally to Bernard in marriage last Saturday. 

Parish Priest Patrick Arkinson said that Eamon Campbell was a determined man who loved his family dearly and who had a strong faith in God. Huge crowds attended the Funeral Mass of Eamon Campbell at St Patrick’s Church, Killygordon, earlier today, Thursday. 

Father Arkinson welcomed all those who had travelled to the Requiem Mass from Antrim and other areas of the north. Many others watched Mass online. 

Gifts were brought up to the altar at the beginning of Mass which signified Eamon’s great love of sport and family amongst which were various sporting jerseys and a hurl.

Eamon passed away at his family home surrounded by his loving family on Monday, June 6. Two photographs were also brought to the altar; one which showed Eamon happily surrounded by his dear family and another which showed Eamon surrounded by his many loving grandchildren. 

Father Arkinson extended his sincere condolences to all those who are saddened by Eamon’s passing.

On Saturday last, during the marriage ceremony, Eamon hugged Bernard welcoming him into his family. “Eamon was a very, very good man, a very genuine man and a very good family man,” Father Arkinson said. 

Those gathered heard that over the past several weeks Eamon derived great solace and peace from the sacraments of the church. He was anointed and was given the last rites before he passed away to where St Paul would describe as ‘our true homeland.’

A few weeks ago, Eamon went down to the Franciscan Friary in Rossnowlagh where he received the sacraments and found great peace and solace. He felt a great affiliation with St Brigid, a saint who is held in very high regard by the Irish people. Father Arkinson said  Eamon and Brigid shared similar beliefs - a great love for the Irish people, their culture and traditions.  

The priest said that earlier this year Eamon was admitted to hospital in Galway on St Brigid’s feast day in early February. 

Father Arkinson said  Eamon was inspirational throughout his illness; he knew he was terminally ill but never once felt sorry for himself but rather spoke openly and candidly about dying. Father Arkinson said Eamon knew he was leaving behind a very good, strong family. 

“He was very complimentary towards his wife, Kathleen, the anchor in his family and she was certainly his anchor,” the congregation heard.  

“Eamon was a man of respect. He was very respectful towards other people's traditions. He was firm in convictions regarding politics, faith and sport,” the priest said, adding that Eamon was always prepared to listen and believed in tolerance and inclusivity. 

Father Arkinson said Eamon had a great sense of humour without realising it and told a story about his going to the NCT centre to get a new certificate for his car. The car failed but Eamon didn’t settle with the explanation but rather caused a little bit of fuss so much so that when Eamon returned without doing anything to the car it surprisingly passed. Father Arkinson was of the belief that those in the centre would have rather he passed than try to discuss, once again, the reason for it failing.

At the end of Mass of  song and music, poetry was read and a moving and emotional oration was read by Eamon's son. People were urged not to be sad for Eamon's passing but rather to be appreciative of the life he lived and the legacy he leaves behind him. 

Among those at the Mass were members of the hurling community in Donegal and across Ulster who are deeply saddened by his passing.

Eamon was a former Donegal senior hurling manager. In 2006, he guided Donegal to their first Nicky Rackard Cup final. Donegal lost out to Derry at Croke Park, but Eamon was the man who helped to break a mould for Donegal hurling. The likes of Danny Cullen and Kevin Campbell, his son, were given their senior bows under his strong management.

Eamon and the entire Campbell family were deeply immersed in the Setanta hurling club.

Eamon was a selector in 2017 when they won the Ulster Junior title, defeating Na Magha 2-17 to 3-11 in Ballybofey. Kevin Campbell clipped 11 points in that win while Paul Campbell, another son, was the manager. Formerly from Loughguile in Antrim and Maghera, County Derry, Eamon also had a spell as the Setanta manager.

Eamon is survived by his beloved wife Kathleen, children Mark, Paul, Meave, Kevin and Clare.

Eamon was the cherished brother of Mary (Scotland) and the late Willie, Harry and Margaret Rose.

Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh sé.

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