By Michael Doyle

Columba Gerard Conway “Colum” 1962 - 2023

On Friday 6th October 2023, I had the honour to attend the funeral of Columba Conway at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Great Barr, Birmingham.

The Requiem Mass was conducted by Father Kuriakose Thadathil to a church full of people who wanted to pay their last respects to Colum. The service began with the “Gathering Music” Grace by Joanne Conway. The piece was moving as it was sung in Gaelic and English which gave joy and expectation of a heavenly reward for Colum’s life.

The Memorial Speech was given by P.J. Doocey who said his beloved wife Jacky who passed away in November 2021 were now together again. Colum had lived a full and outgoing life. He trained as a Civil Engineer and had worked in America, London and the West Midlands where he started his own company.

He was a great charity worker and gave his time and effort to raising money for the Q.E. Hospital in Birmingham, Saint Mary’s Hospice, and many other worthy causes.

Colum was a keen member of the Order of the Knights of Saint Columba and played a vital role in the development of Council 223, Walsall and the Province of Birmingham. He was a keen supporter of the annual Sponsored Walk and halfway round he would stop to say the Rosary as he had a great devotion to Our Lady.

Colum had three children: Michelle, Joanne and Ryan. May they be strengthened in their faith by the Lord.

The service concluded with the Hymn of Farewell with a wonderful chorus as set below:

Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland
All my cares and troubles cease
As a I kneel with love before you
Lady Knock my Queen of Peace

The Processional Music was “Take Me Home to Mayo”. As his funeral cortège proceeded, the Knights of Saint Columba gave a traditional last salute to a great and distinguished member of the Order.

Colum’s last journey is to Ballycroy, County Mayo, his hometown where his body will be interred in the village burial ground. Colum was one of nine children; one of his siblings being Rose Conway-Walsh, Sinn Féin TD for the Mayo constituency.

Rest in peace my Irish friend.

Michael Doyle