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01st Jul 2024

Mick Wallace tells mourners he will ‘never get over’ death of his son

Simon Kelly

Mick Wallace son

“We have to cope and cope we will.”

Former MEP Mick Wallace has said that he will ‘never get over’ the death of his son Joseph Barry Wallace.

The 30-year-old died in Tallaght hospital last Thursday, June 27, after a short illness.

Speaking at his funeral on Saturday, Mick Wallace said, “I think it is important to say we have no illusions, we’re not going to say we’re going to recover from the loss because we won’t.”

Joseph had been successfully managing a brain tumour since his diagnosis last year, however he became unwell while attending the Beyond the Pale festival in Glendalough, Co Wicklow last weekend.

Mick Wallace says he will ‘never get over’ his youngest son death after short illness

“We have to cope and cope we will,” Mr Wallace continued at the service, which took place at the Victorian Chapel in Mount Jerome, Dublin.

“Where we get the strength to do it, I don’t know but we’ll get it somewhere.

“All you people here and the support up give us is part of what will help us to cope thanks very much everybody.”

Mr Wallace also spoke of how he and his son shared their love of football together by attending matches across Europe, particularly following Italian side Torino.

They had intended to go to the Euros this week to see Italy play Switzerland in Berlin.

Joe was a talented footballer who played with the Wexford Youths when the club was only just starting out.

On Thursday evening, the club posted a tribute online writing: “We are desperately saddened to hear of the passing of our former player and son of Mick, Joe Barry Wallace.

“We send our deepest sympathies to the Wallace family and all of his friends and clubmates. RIP Joseph.”

Local Independent TD Verona Murphy, who took Mick Wallace’s Dail seat in 2019 when he was elected to Europe, explained that she was “very saddened” to hear of Joe’s death.

She said: “My deepest, most sincere sympathy to the Barry and Wallace families on your immense loss and all of his friends and clubmates. RIP Joseph.”

MEP Sean Kelly added that it was “shocking news” and talked of Joe as a “very bright and talented young man”.

His wake will take place on Saturday in Dundrum followed by a funeral in Mount Jerome Crematorium at 4pm.

The news comes just two weeks after Joe’s father, Mick, lost his European Parliament seat in the election.

He had represented Ireland South for the previous five years.

Speaking following his election loss, Mick said: “That’s life. I’m very grateful to all the people who did vote for me and all the people who voted for me in the election five years ago. They gave me the opportunity to be on an amazing platform in Europe.”

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