Council worker and 'devoted father' who died during Storm Eunice is laid to rest

Council Worker And 'Devoted Father' Who Died During Storm Eunice Is Laid To Rest
Billy Kinsella died after being hit by a falling tree close to his home in north Wexford. Photo: Wexford-Kilscoran Parish/Facebook
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Sarah Slater

A father-of-one and Wexford county council worker killed during Storm Eunice has been laid to rest following his Requiem Mass.

Billy Kinsella died after being hit by a falling tree close to his home in north Wexford.


Mr Kinsella was clearing debris from the road with a colleague last Friday when he was struck by a tree during strong winds. It happened in the Ballythomas area, close to the Wicklow border.

Chief Celebrant Fr Richard Lawless said it was a “great comfort” to the Kinsella family that Col Stephen Howrd was in attendance representing President Michael D Higgins.

Caothairleach of Wexford County Council, Barbara Anne Murphy along with CEO Tom Enright also attended along with numerous local councillors and local authority staff who were among those that paid tribute to the 59-year-old. survived by his beloved wife Rita, son Conor and five siblings Patrick, Elizabeth, Shay, Sean and Aileen.


His Requiem Mass took place at The Church of Our Lady of the Nativity, Ballyfad at 3pm.

'Unexpected and tragic death'

A floral wreath of cream and red roses adorned the coffin along with a high visibility work vest as it was brought into the Church on his final journey.

Fr Lawless in his eulogy said: “The unexpected and tragic death has hit us. It will take time for it to sink in. Billy Kinsella touched the lives of many and now there is a void.

“He was a great gift to his family and community, and they appreciate what was lost. He worked with Wexford County Council from, January 17th, 2017. He worked in construction for many years. He was a conscious worker and could turn his hand to anything. He was a gifted man and interested in many things.


“He built his own house from design templates. He had a great way of fixing things, and he loved vintage tractors.Billy was known and kept busy by fixing his siblings’ cars.

“He was a devoted father to Conor with swimming and GAA. He was a generous and kind husband making sure Rita wanted for nothing. He was quiet but was thoughtful and a rock of sense.

“All of this goodness was brought to an end at 11am last Friday. He chanced upon a fallen tree, he was afraid overhead wires would cause trouble while going to another call-out. He got out of his vehicle, but he was suddenly hit by the branch of a falling tree.

“Billy died almost instantly as he was doing his job as do many who work in the emergency services trying to keep us safe.


“We wait in confusion and loss, and we wait to meet Billy again. We wait to understand why this tragic accident happened to Billy Kinsella. The familiar path has changed for his entire family.”

Several work colleagues and family members took part in the prayers of the faithful.

The altar was adorned with several floral bouquets of lilies and roses. His burial took place following the hour-long ceremony.

'Amazing husband and devoted father'

His grieving wife Rita said that she will never forget the support she has received over the last few days.


“Since I got the phone call about the accident on Friday the community has just rallied around us. We’ve been blown out of the water with the amount of support and help we’ve gotten from the Kinsella and Dunne family, our wonderful neighbours and friends, the GAA community and my son Conor’s friends too in UCD, and we’re so grateful,” she explained.

“I got to know Billy when I was 17 and met him for the first time at the Rose of Tralee. We got on great straight away together and 26 years ago we got married in Barbados.

“We built a beautiful home here from scratch on the land and Billy did so much work on it. He could put his hand to everything, and he even did the whole plumbing of the house and built gates on the house from a template too.

“We’d always go on family holidays, and he was just an amazing husband and devoted father. He was such a family man, and we wanted for nothing here.

“We were the dream team here Billy, Conor and I with our dogs, and we always had a great laugh together. Conor is in first year at UCD and got his first choice on his CAO of commerce and that made Billy and I so proud.”

Mr Kinsella was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery following his hour-long Funeral Mass.

He is survived by his beloved wife Rita, son Conor and five siblings Patrick, Elizabeth, Shay, Sean and Aileen.

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