I travelled home to Derry on a Wednesday night, not to visit freinds or family, but to attend the funeral of Colm Quigley, a friend and an Inspiration. Colm Quigley, 39, father of five, died at his home in Burt on Sunday, 20th March. Colm was a longstanding member of the North West Triathlon Club who represented both his club and country with distinction. He was an exceptional sportsman and a great ambassador for the sport of triathlon. He was also a very proud Derry man.
Many moons ago Colm came to my school with his race bike, and talked about triathlon. My friends and I oooed and aahed at his bike and stories, and not long after I was attending the club and competing in local events. He would arrange brick sessions and we would all travel to races together stopping for ice cream at Aughnacloy. He ‘watched’ four bikes on e-bay for me and bidded on two as I didn’t have an e-bay account, nor did I know what kind of bike I was looking for. Colm brought me over my first race bike when it arrived, and built it. This was the kind of Colm, he’d do anything for anybody. After my first International race, one of the first texts I received was from Colm, congratulating me on my finish, and also on my run time- he’d already looked up the results! On a personal level I thank Colm for getting me into the sport, and also for encouraging me to compete at the level I’m at today.
More recently I’ve not been living in Derry, but a friend Aoife, told me Colm arrived at training with a bit of pipe insulation for the handlebars to put your watch onto. He had a whole bag of bits cut up- one for everybody in the audience. Colms generosity and kind spirit made him one in a million, he will be sorely missed.
- 08 April 2011