Francis P Scullion

Yesterday Francis Scullion was featured in the Irish News ‘Lives Remembered’ section. At the request of his son Tony we are re producing it today on Saffron Gael

Francis P Scullion

The last journey of Francis Scullion from his home in Toome to his final resting place on the Cargin Hill saw a huge crowd line the route to bid farewell.

A lone piper who led the cortege for the phase out of the village and the ‘lament’ he played fully underlined the sadness of the occasion.

Francis Scullion was born into a family of sixteen in Ballinderry coming seventh in line and started as a proud follower of the Shamrocks and the Oak Leaf County but as events were to unfold and he made his way through life.

  A Toome girl had caught his eye, and he married his beloved Maggie and settled down on the banks of the river Bann only a stones throw away from the grounds of Erin’s Own Cargin in 1974.

The Erin’s Own men had won their first county senior title in that year and as time marched on, and although the Shamrocks of Ballinderry and the Oak Leaf men retained attentions aplenty, he had been smitten by the Cargin bug going on to occupy positions in the Committee of the club and taking the chair for a period.

Always cheerful with a keen wit and a rich sense of humour Francis was a big hit in his tenure as chairman and when he conducted the fund raising Take Your Pick in the social club it was always standing room only.

Both his sons, Tony and Gavin claimed championship medals in the green and white with the former outstanding in the Saffron for a lengthy period but possibly the most cherished moment was when his grandson Benen Kelly made it a family double when the Toome men took the County minor title to follow the senior teams’ success in 2019.

Francis had stared what was to be a life long appointment when he began teaching in St Olcan’s Randalstown in 1974 and only ill health forced him away from his vocation when he took early retirement in 2005.

A debilitating illness which was to worsen as time marched on did restrict movement but Francis found some solace in social media to keep in touch with his multitude of friends and always took opportunity to offer congratulations or indeed sympathies if such was required, missing none.

In the latter stage of his illness Francis remained positive reflecting on a great life with his beloved Maggie by his side, and his immense pride in his family, Belinda (Kelly), Kyra (Marron), Maria (Mc Erlain), Gavin and Tony, and his 22 grandchildren.

Francis Scullion was indeed a Gentleman and a Scholar and although taken before the allocation of the three score and ten his was a life to be remembered.

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