The 22nd September 2012, will be a date etched in our minds forever. It was this day that we lost a Club Member, a Gaelgoir, a Gentleman and most of all a True Friend. Eugene was known country wide and further afield for his exploits in Vintage car circles, he was a member of many old-car clubs but his heart was with the Connacht Veteran & Vintage Motor Club where he had been a member from the early days.
Retirement gave Eugene a new lease of life and let him concentrate on his main interest, Vintage and Classic cars. Eugene had a love for old Jaguars and had several examples; in addition he had a 1931 Morris Minor called “PJ”. Having gone to the Gordon Bennett Rally for the last 10 or 12 years, Eugene always hankered after an earlier car. This dream came true a couple of years ago with the purchase of an Austin 16/6. It was this car that he was restoring when he met his untimely end. His involvement with the Connacht Veteran & Vintage Motor Club included a stint at Hon Secretary but most people would have known him, as he was for the last number of years, our Main Rally Secretary.
As a native Irish speaker he had the ability to draw “an Cupla focail” out of people, even those who didn’t know they had it. His phone was always answered “As Gaeilge” with ”Go Maith Dia Duith, is mise, Eoghan MacGilloa Easpaig, Conas ata Tu?”, this often brought out a couple of sentences of Irish, much to his delight. Last year TG4 filmed a documentary on Eugene that concentrated solely on the social side of his life this is a fitting tribute to the Real Eugene Gillespie.
He will be remembered for his wide smile, friendly demeanour, kindly manner and the twinkle in his eye. Eugene is survived by his partner Joan, sisters Elizabeth and Patsy and brother Brian, nieces and nephews, neighbours and wide circle of friends and of course his dog Tiny.
Ar Dheis De Go Raibh A Anam.
This tribute was written by Keith English, CVVMC Treasurer and close friend of the late Eugene Gillespie.