Tributes to photo champion John Wilkinson

By Dan Walsh

The community and world of amateur photography and students of local history and lore are deeply saddened by the death of John Wilkinson, which occurred peacefully at his home, Main Street, Carnew, surrounded by his loving family. He was in his 96th year.


John Wilkinson was a local historian of note and was particularly impressive with his reminiscing of events surrounding the once powerful Coollattin Estate, one of the largest of its kind in south Wicklow. He could also recall characters, happenings and events in and around Carnew going back generations.

He published an interesting commentary on his early days. “My family, parents, and younger siblings, lived in Tomacork, some two miles from Carnew, but when it was time for me to start school in 1931 that distance was considered too far for a youngster to walk. To solve the problem I was “boarded out” with my Sinnott grandparents, on the Schoolheight, Carnew and had only to trot down the Main Street to reach the school Following their deaths, my Aunt Mary, took over the house and me. Actually, I had been born here and it had been my mother’s (Esther Wilkinson, née Sinnott) home prior to her marriage.”

Enniscorthy Camera Club posted; “It is with great regret that we have to announce that our Honorary President John Wilkinson sadly died yesterday. John was the definition of a gentleman who will be sadly missed.”

John was a member of Enniscorthy Camera Club for over 40 years and served both as Chairman and Secretary. Although his passion for photography covered all aspects of the art, his speciality was audio-visual which he mastered to such a high standard that he was an All-Ireland champion and placed a few times.

He was Enniscorthy’s representative on the Southern Association of Camera Clubs (SACC) and served as treasurer of the Irish Photographic Federation.

John enjoyed a long and fulfilled life. He loved company and storytelling and his photography collection is one of the biggest of its kind in the country. He easily converted his skills from the manual operation of photography and the days of ‘dark rooms’ to the modern digital era and adopted well to the new ways of the website and facebook.

Dearly beloved husband of the late Molly, much loved father of Cyril, Richard, Mary and Denis, devoted grandfather of Molly and Reuben, brother of Laurence, Benny and Fr Pat MCCJ and the late Fr Denis MCCJ, Tommy, Una, Mary and Nancy. Sadly, missed by his loving sons, daughter, grandchildren, daughters-in-law Doreen and Clare, Son-in-law Pádraig, sister-in-law Marilyn, nephews, nieces, extended family, relatives and his wide circle of friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

Due to Government advice and HSE guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral will take place for family and close friends. Funeral Mass will take place at 2 pm on Thursday in Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church, Carnew, followed by interment in Tomacork Cemetery.

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