Tuesday, September 06, 2022

The late Jack de Bromhead


Editorial first published in September 6th edition of the Waterford News & Star

THE horrendous tragedy that has seen Jack de Bromhead taken from his family and friends at such a devastatingly young age is every parent’s worst nightmare. Waterford’s collective sympathies are directed towards the de Bromhead family this week, as his home at Knockeen, his extended family, and the communities of Butlerstown and the pony and horse racing worlds, as well as his schools, both primary and secondary, come to terms with Jack’s untimely death.

We are but caretakers of our children, leading them and paving the way for them as they seek out their dreams and follow their passions. Jack was a child who was supported in every way in delving into the hobbies he loved, and pursuing them to the fullest extent of his talent and capabilities.


‘Jack seized and lived every moment of his 13 years, he took the opportunities presented to him and he made the most of them all, with vim and delight’


The beaming photos of him, in his school uniform, with his beloved parents and sisters, in the horse and pony racing world, and enjoying his hobbies, tell of a boy that was living his life to the fullest and happiest extent possible. For those who have grown up around horses and ponies, they will know that this is about a love affair, a bond between child and animal that is strong and enduring and teaches so much.

It is a wonderful gift to be able to give a child, and one that saw Jack thrive.

The world can be a cruel and hard place – there is no explanation as to why things happen as they do, and when. There is no man, woman or child immune to the devastating events that can happen, and the pain that ensues. But there is also the great wonder of our lives – and in living them to the very best and fullest that we can. Jack was that kind of boy. He seized and lived every moment of his 13 years, he took the opportunities presented to him and he made the most of them all, with vim and delight. And he brought everyone who crossed his path on his journey, with his infectious enthusiasm and fierce loyalty. Jack was the kind of boy you call a true friend.

There was a magic that twinkled in Jack de Bromhead’s eyes as he revelled in his father’s international horse-racing and training successes, and more recently his own, new steps in the world of pony racing.

We wish we could envelope his family in a blanket of comfort this week, anything at all to make this journey somewhat more bearable for them. There is no doubt but that they will be accompanied by a hugely supportive Waterford community every step of the way.

To the de Bromhead family – Jack’s heartbroken parents Henry and Heather, his sisters, extended family and friends, we offer our deepest sympathies.

We were there with Jack’s family on such joyous occasions in recent years, and we, as a community, will be there now to scaffold and support as they endure their hardest chapter.

We will close this week’s editorial with the words of Monsignor Pat Fitzgerald at Sunday mass in Butlerstown:

“I’ve a sense that life will always come asking for more. That’s the nature of things. A lot of life has to do with letting go, surrendering things that are dear to us. The most awful expression of this is the cloud that hangs over this community today and will do for many days; the deep, deep sense of sadness that we feel in relation to little Jack de Bromhead. It’s an awesome thing. It takes over our minds and our hearts and we pray that our prayers will be of some help in this situation and of course the friendship and presence of people who know the family well.”

May Jack Rest in Peace.

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