Frank McGinnis – Rest In Peace
Our friend and colleague, Frank McGinnis, who was at Mirfield from 1964 to 1967 passed away on June 7th 2019. He, along with 11 others of us, was a Core Participant in Theresa May’s Abuse Panel. His daughters, Lee and Clare want to keep on fighting for justice on his behalf. I was going to write a eulogy to him myself as he was my best friend at Mirfield. However, I couldn’t put it better than his two daughters who read out the eulogies at his funeral in Largs Crematorium. Here they are:-
Lee’s Eulogy to her Dad
I have been staring at this piece of paper for the last week struggling to find the words I need to say. I still haven’t found them.
I could stand here for hours and share the memories we have but it’s too painful for me to even think about at the moment. All I can say is this. You have been the best dad. We are so proud to have had you as a dad, papa, husband, brother, uncle and friend. You provided us with the most wonderfully enriched lives.
You always said it was luck that things worked out for you in life but it was obvious to anyone who knew you that it took great skill to achieve what you did by not playing their game. You were a genius who studied the rules meticulously so that you could break them effectively. The world is a poorer place without you.
Your role as provider was important but it was working on our minds that mattered to you – telling us the most amazing stories at bedtime straight out of your head about the wee magic box and the magic ice-cream van and later, to Jayden, the Felix the cat stories. Then as we got older it was political discussions we had into the early hours. Trying to solve the world’s problems. And you could have done it dad.
The McGinnis Family
Your family meant the world to you. You knew each of us so completely and utterly and you had the ability to adapt for each of us to whatever our needs were – cars, money, Celtic, boyfriend/husband drama, homework – you were there at every step. You were our best friend and we are lost without you.
When I was wee you left to go work on the ships for months at a time and I remember just going and sitting under the table crying and I wouldn’t come out. I have always had that same feeling being apart from you. No more so than now.
I was a daddy’s girl and followed you everywhere, lying underneath motors with you and asking you endless questions. Then Clare appeared with her strong will and rebellious streak. You were secretly pleased when she stood up to you. She was so similar to you with her strong convictions and you were so proud. Andrew was so laidback you just thought he was the best wee guy. Not a bit of bother. Only when Celtic bitterly disappointed him did you need to comfort him. You couldn’t have been prouder when he achieved his first-class degree in Law.
In 2003 your grandson Jayden came along and dominated your life completely. He followed you everywhere too and words can’t describe how much this wee guy meant to you. He was your life. In just 16 years you have imparted so much wisdom and knowledge to him that should keep him going a lifetime. You were only 67 and we should have had many more years with you but the quality of the time we have spent with you provides some form of comfort.
The Happiest Times
The last few years were some of our happiest times. You and mum had become the best of friends again, helped in no small part by the wee dug, Bella, who is missing you so much dad! You were besotted with her and the feeling was mutual. Your sons-in-law Jamie and Greg and your, for all intents and purposes, daughter-in-law Caroline loved you so much as did your wee surrogate son Alan. You could not have been more loved dad.
I will miss that warm feeling I would get when I would see you arriving at my house and that pang I would get in my heart when I would watch you walk up the steps to your front door. We will miss you every single day dad. None of these words convey the depth of this loss we now feel.
Clare’s Eulogy to Her Dad
Our dad was our hero – always there when we needed him and that was often. We shared love laughter and tears. He taught us what is right and wrong from his innate moral compass. Our dad hated cruelty and abuse of power. He always advocated on behalf of anyone who was a victim of any abuse of power, the poor, the abused, those treated unjustly by a system designed to keep power in the hands of those who wield that power for themselves and we will continue that fight.
A Master of Words and Wit
We have the tools but we were not finished learning from the master. And he was a master. He was a wordsmith with a wit that could destroy anyone. Strong, full of love and we knew everyday how lucky we were to have that man as our dad, the kettle always on and a willing ear after a hard day. I was so grateful as I see everyday in my job what not having that safety net can do to kids.
We know what we’ve lost. My dad understood what was important in life. Family. So not for him any deathbed regrets over how he spent his time. A big part of us died that day and now Dad we hope that you were wrong and that there is more to all of this so we can all be together again when the time comes.