The late Michael Harte of Priory Park, Athlone.

Death announced of Athlone resident who battled Motor Neurone Disease

The death has been announced of Athlone resident Michael (Jock) Harte, following a brave battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Mr Harte (65), of Priory Park, Athlone, and formerly of Sligo, died peacefully earlier today, Thursday, at the South Westmeath Hospice.

"Michael has now crossed the finish line and is rejoicing on the Winners' Podium," his death notice stated.

His passing is mourned by his loving wife, Maeve O'Healy, his brothers John, Gerard, and Paul, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, uncle, aunts, nieces, nephews, extended family, neighbours and a wide circle of friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, Jackie and Josie, his brother Nicholas, and his sister Tess.

Michael was known to many as Mike or 'Jock', a nickname he acquired as a result of his being born in Glasgow.

He spent the first sixteen years of his life in Scotland before moving with his family to Sligo, where he met his wife, Maeve, who is well-known locally as a result of her long-time involvement in the hairdressing industry.

The couple have been living in Athlone for some 30 years. In an article in the Westmeath Independent last year, they spoke of the "huge support" they received from the local community following Michael's devastating diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease in October 2020.

Poignantly, his late sister, Tess, had been diagnosed with the same disease four years earlier.

Although Michael "loved to talk," earlier this year he took part in a sponsored silence fundraiser organised by the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA).

His family has asked for family flowers only, and donations, if desired, to the IMNDA.

Michael will be reposing at Flynn's Funeral Home, The Strand, Athlone tomorrow (Friday) evening from 6pm until 8pm.

His funeral Mass will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo, on Saturday at 2pm, followed by private cremation service at Lakelands Crematorium, Cavan.

Funeral Mass can be viewed live on:

May he rest in peace.