Burtonport Parish lost one of its most popular and best known characters with the recent death of Anton Ban Sweeney, Crickamore, Dungloe, which took place in Letterkenny hospital.
Anton, who celebrated his 80th birthday on August 19th, had only been admitted to hospital before his sudden passing. A native of Crickamore, he was from a well known local family.
Like a lot more at the time, he emigrated to Scotland in his youth, before returning home with his wife Annie and family to reside permanently at Crickamore. A most industrious and hard working person, he worked in Boyle’s laundry Dungloe for a period, he spent some years driving for Doherty Coaches, Dungloe.
He joined the staff of Arran Mara sea weed factory in1978 and gave great loyal service until he retired in 1998. Anton enjoyed farming and was always very proud of his crop of potatoes and vegetables. Anton could be described as a real community activist. He led the Crickamore band for a long number of years, and was one of best known leaders in the county.
In his teens he also played in the Dore band, he was one of the founder members of the Burtonport Bowling Club and was also a very accomplished card and dart player As a neighbour Anton had few equals, and often organised turf cutting and saving turf , for people who needed help at particular times. Anton would be called on to cut hair for people in the locality, and one of them was his close friend and neighbour Hughie Sweeney, Sheskinarone who is now 102 years.
Anton enjoyed sport, and always supported Glasgow Celtic F.C. and the G.A.A. county team. Crickamore and the surrounding area will be much the poorer by his passing, and his name will always be fondly remembered in the years to come.
His removal, wake and funeral was one of the largest seen in the area and bore testimony of the high esteem that Anton and his family are held. His funeral took place to Belcruit Cemetery, following mass in St Columba’s church, Acres celebrated by Rev Fr Pat Ward P.P., Rev Fr Padraig O Baoil P.P, Gweedore and Rev Fr John J. Duffy C.C.
Readers at the mass were his son Pauric and his brother- in-law Pat The Cope Gallagher. Prayers of the faithful were read by Nancy and Christopher Walsh, Maeve Logue, Kevina McKelvey and Declan McGarvey. Relevant items were brought up to the altar, as a reflection of his life. Music was provided by St Columba’s choir led by Joe Rodgers on guitar and a few numbers on the fife were rendered by Denis Edward Boner, Peter McGee, Brian Quinn ànd Michael McGonagle of the Crickamore band. There was also guards of honour by past and present members of the Crickamore band, the Burtonport Bowling Club and members of other Bowling Clubs.
He is survived by his wife Annie, sons Pauric and Kevin daughter Sinead, in-laws and a large circle of relatives and friends to whom deepest sympathy is extended. Months mind mass takes place in Acres church on Saturday 28th September at 6.30pm. “Slan leat a Anton, ar gCara dhilis. Is cinnte nach mbeidh do leitheid ann arais”.
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