By Noel Mullins
The Irish possess a mystical, possibly genetic relationship with the horse. The late Frank Burke is a splendid example of the horseman all horse-lovers aspire to be.
Frank Burke with Siscero, winner of the 2016 Dublin Horse Show Puissance at 7-feet, 3-inches and ridden by Shane Breen / Noel Mullins photo
A constant outpouring of messages of sympathy flew at the sad news of the passing of Frank Burke―West of Ireland horseman and lifetime follower of the Galway Blazers Foxhounds. The messages expressed what so many were thinking: a great warrior, kind and caring, inspiring, a joy to meet, smiling and good-humoured, hospitable, strong, a passion for life, steely determination, brave, tough and positive. Some said they admired his deep faith, a gentleman who suffered in silence from a dreadful illness over the last twenty years, yet remained pleasant and uncomplaining.
Frank knew he was not fighting his battle alone. He has his family in his corner and particularly his beloved wife Bernie, a trained nurse who was his ‘rock,’ sharing both his good days and bad days. And he had sons and daughters, all living as a close family unit. His son David said that his father gave a whole new meaning to the word, tough, recalling when the Hospice Nurse called to the house to attend to Frank only to be told he was out on the farm painting a gate!