Appreciation from Tinahely Show Society
The late Derek Rothwell
The recent passing of Derek Rothwell, Greenhall, Tinahely at the age of 89 was met with great sadness in the locality and surrounding areas.
Derek was one of natures true gentlemen with a big heart and gentle disposition that endeared him to everyone he came into contact with. Young and old alike were embraced by his kindness, sense of humour and willingness to stop for a chat or to give that friendly word of advice. His unmistakeable stature was easily recognisable in a big crowd and his presence at various events in town and country never went unnoticed.
Derek’s’ life centred on his family and farm and in the many organisations he became involved with-these were many and varied. The event closest to his heart without any doubt was Tinahely Show and even though in failing health this year he made sure to attend Fairwood Park on August Monday. His dynamism and interest in promoting the show since the late 1960’s were phenomenal - he has left his mark on an event the entire area should be very proud of.
His love for shows surfaced to the forefront on his appointment as Chairman of Tinahely in 1969.He reorganised an existing committee and added a new dimension by forming sub committees to deal with the individual sections within the show. In 1971 Derek was instrumental in organising a deputation for putting forward their claim for the title of Wicklow County Show. Thanks to them and the support of the late Senator Mary Walsh the deputation was triumphant in gaining the title for a well-deserved association. His passion for the show didn’t end there and over a period of 12 years he travelled the length and breath of Ireland promoting the event, seeking exhibitors at other shows and encouraging business firms to become involved in sponsorship and support. He also served as President for a three-year term and was an inspiration to all officers following in his footsteps. His commitment and dedication paid off with the Annual Tinahely Agricultural Show now recognised as a major event on the August Bank holiday Monday.
Dereks’enthuasiam didn’t end with Tinahely and over the years he rose up the ranks to serve on the board of the Irish Shows Association .He was appointed Chairman of the Association and introduced new incentives and projects to promote and encourage interest in the entire agricultural show scene. His determination to get young people on board came to fruition when he helped in the organising of courses for junior judges. Attention to detail was also important to him. The last port of call at Fairwood Park on the eve of each show was to inspect and give his seal of approval to the Ring lay out and presentation for the All Ireland finals. His power of communication was immense and he enjoyed sharing that special skill with his colleagues in the shows, the locality and elsewhere.
In the background Derek had a family team supporting him day and night .His dear wife Maria was “Home Secretary” allowing him the freedom to pursue his passion of meetings etc. Maria became as well known and loved as Derek .She enjoyed meeting the people associated with all aspects of his life by keeping an open door at all times.
His sons Noel and Derry attended to farming matters yet also managed the time to follow their fathers’ passion for shows by achieving considerable success as Exhibitors. This made their father very proud and gave him great joy in the latter stage of his illness. His grandchildren were also to the forefront of his life and he followed their chosen careers and success with interest and pride. They are making their own mark with their accomplishments in the Horse and Cattle world.
The Society is honoured and proud to have inherited a great legacy to which our dear departed friend contributed so much time and effort. Dereks’ achievements and encouragement will remain along with the many wonderful and happy memories.
The Committee and Members of Tinahely Agricultural Show Society extend our deepest sympathy to the Rothwell Family, Greenhall.
Derek-Rest in Peace