James Tobin and his sons
The sudden and unexpected death, which occurred on Monday 24th July last, of James Tobin, Rehill, Ballylooby, Cahir occasioned profound sadness not just in his native town of Cahir but throughout south Tipperary where he was known as a master craftsman, an amazing artist and a great lover of the outdoors.
Son of Aileen and Jimmy Tobin, Abbey Street, Cahir, James was born on 17th December 1974.
He spent his formative years in Cahir, finishing his secondary education at Cahir Vocational School before going on to complete his apprentice as a Tiler for the well known Mossie Casey Tiles in Cahir, where he spent many a happy day.
James, though, had bigger ambitions and always had a desire to travel. To this end he headed to Australia, where he perfected his art and commenced a career in the building trade – a decision which was to serve him well in the years to come.
When his travels came to an end James returned to Cahir where he married Noreen Condon in November 2005. The couple moved to Rehill, Ballylooby, Cahir where he put his skills to good use, completing a renovation on an old farmhouse which was later to become their home. There they were blessed with two beautiful children, Cathal and Cillian.
Though James hailed from the town, at heart he was a true country man; his love of animals and nature was something he inherited from his Dad "Jimmy".
James knew the name of every tree, plant and he loved nothing better than to grow organic products. He added to his portfolio when he completed a chefing course at Ballymaloe and he went on to cook, bake, grow vegetables, keep bees and rear organic pigs,
James love of animals was something that was instrumental in his farming and the welfare of his animals always came first.
Noreen recalls "my favourite memory of James was one spring when the baby crows were all flying too early and were dropping like flies from their nests. James spent the whole day putting the babies safely back in their warm nests".
Those who knew James well will attest to the fact that he was a master craftsman with his hands. He was an amazing artist but, a very modest and self-effacing man, he always shied away from displaying his work.
He was also an avid reader and loved books; his family and friends knew that they could never keep a book when James was around. Other loves included pottery and poetry writing,
Stonemasonry, though, was his absolute passion and he liked nothing better than working with stone and slate. Indeed examples of his excellent works can be seen throughout the countryside.
James was a devoted son to his mother Aileen, appreciating fully that he could not have been blessed with a better mother – he always told his family and many friends that Aileen was “a great woman",
And that was borne out by the fact that Aileen cared for and minded James so very well, particularly in the last year of his life. She loved him with all her heart, and would always be heard taking proudly about “her James”.
He was also loved deeply by his mother in law (Ann Condon) whose many and frequent dinners he relished. Indeed, he was known to rush over to Shanbally whenever he knew she would be cooking a roast! He admired and loved Ann greatly and she also minded him as much as she possibly could,.
Those who knew James will have been aware of his struggles; he always did his best to be the person he wanted to be but at times the conflicts were difficult.
His family and friends will also smile as they recall that he definitely had nine lives – they marvelled at how anyone could crash so many bikes and cars but emerge after each one giving a hearty laugh and getting on with life.
He loved his friends with all his heart, especially Davie, Frosty, Conor, Baker, Seanie and Herbie, Michael, Paul and Seanie - they always tried to keep him safe and away from harm.
They will forever remember his laugh, his wild ways, James on his horses, carefree and, most importantly, always smiling.
His true loves though were his children Cathal and Cillian. During the final two weeks of his life James returned home to his close knit family, enjoying trips to the beach at night, McDonalds, Dinners and, on the day before his untimely passing, he reached the top of the Galtees with his son Cathal, and nephews Ben and Callum.
James has passed on to his sons his love of nature and his love of horses and bikes – though after many an 'adventure' with his boys he often cautioned them "Don’t tell Mammy"!
If James could have witnessed the love and respect shown to him and his family at his passing, they believe he would have taken a different road; 'he would have veered his car at 100 miles an hour, taken a swift turn and he would have said to all of you "Your Life is Precious".
His passing is a great blow to all of his friends who will miss him deeply but it is a profound loss to the family whom he loved so deeply and who were equally as devoted to him.
He will be sadly missed by his wife Noreen, children Cathal and Cillian, his father Jimmy, mother Aileen, brother Shane, Sisters, Caroline, Kathriona, Deirdre and Grainne, his mother in law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
'Oh for the touch of a vanished hand
and the sound of a voice that is still'
Alfred Lord Tennyson