‘We were the dream team’ wife tells funeral of council worker killed in storm

Chief celebrant says Billy Kinsella a gifted man who ‘could turn his hand to anything’

Wexford County Council employee Billy Kinsella who was killed on Friday while clearing storm debris. Photograph: Wexford-Kilscoran Parish/Facebook

The Wexford county council worker killed during Storm Eunice was a great gift to his family and community, his funeral Mass heard on Wednesday.

Chief celebrant Fr Richard Lawless said Billy Kinsella touched the lives of many. "He was a conscious worker and could turn his hand to anything . He was a gifted man and interested in many things. He built his own house from design templates. He had a great way of fixing things," he said.

It was a great comfort to the Kinsella family that Col Stephen Howard was in attendance at the funeral representing President Michael D Higgins, he added.

The father of one died after being hit by a falling tree close to his home in north Wexford last Friday. He was clearing debris from the road with a colleague at the time.


His wife, Rita, told the congregation at the Church of Our Lady of the Nativity in Ballyfad she will never forget the support she and the family had received over the last few days.

“Since I got the phone call about the accident on Friday the community has just rallied around us. We’ve been blown out of the water with the amount of support and help we’ve gotten ... and we’re so grateful,” she said.

"I got to know Billy when I was 17 and met him for the first time at the Rose of Tralee. We got on great straight away together and 26 years ago we got married in Barbados. We built a beautiful home here from scratch ... and Billy did so much work on it.

“He was such a family man and we wanted for nothing here. We were the dream team here – Billy, Conor and I with our dogs – and we always had a great laugh together. Conor is in first year at UCD and got his first choice on his CAO of commerce and that made Billy and I so proud,” she added.