Tributes have been paid to well-known Derry solicitor Seamus Hegarty, who lost his battle with leukaemia on Thursday of last week at the age of just 59.
A partner in Hegarty and McFeely Solicitors, based a Queen Street, Mr Hegarty had been battling with the disease for several years. However he remained active in both business and the community until shortly before his death.
Lifelong friend, Seamus Doherty of Doherty’s Meats, paid tribute to Mr Hegarty on Friday, saying his death had left him “deeply saddened”.
“We met when we went to Rosemount Boy’s School together - starting in 1957 - and we have remained very close friends ever since.
“Seamus was a very loyal and compassionate friend and I was always completely comfortable in his company,” Mr Doherty said.
“He had a sharp intellect and wit - something which he never lost. He was also a talented athlete and an avid footballer.
“One of my earliest and happiest memories of our time together was when the Rosemount Boys’ Team topped the league and went on to win the double.”
The pair continued their education together through St. Columb’s College, where Seamus was a prominent member of the school’s cross-country team.
“Our friendship has endured throughout our lifetime,” Mr Doherty said, “although obviously he went on to work in the legal profession and I joined the family business.
“Regardless we shared many happy times. He as a great man with a great and enduring zest for life and he will be deeply missed.”
Mr Hegarty was a well-respected member of the local legal community and was also greatly admired in local sporting circles. He acted as Club Secretary of Derry City Football Club in the mid 80s and in 2002 proudly held the title of Men’s Captain of the Greencastle Gold Club.
He retired from his legal practice, due to his health, in 2010.
Mr. Hegarty’s funeral took place yesterday from his home at Darleen Park, Culmore Road. Requiem Mass was said at St. Mary’s Creggan and his remains were interred afterwards at the City Cemetery.
He is survived by his wife Joan and four grown-up children Maeve, Patrick, Sean and Kevin. He is also survived by his siblings Ann, John, Hugo and Clare.
Mr. Doherty said he wished to extend his sincerest sympathy to the Hegarty family at this sad time.