Fermoy native involved in local choir's viral ballad sadly passes away

Fermoy native involved in local choir's viral ballad sadly passes away

Tommy Baker, a contributor to Fermoy International Choir’s viral ballad who sadly passed away on Friday.

A contributor to Fermoy International Choir’s viral ballad has sadly passed away.

The choir had enjoyed the viral success of its recording of the century-old ballad My Home in Fermoy following its release online on Friday but members were met with the sadness of the news that one of their own had passed away just hours later.

Tommy Baker was one of 32 people living in the town to contribute to the production with his voice and image used throughout.

Graham Clifford, who founded the Fermoy International Choir as part of the Together Ireland Community Integration Project, said: "A cloud of sadness descended over the town on Friday evening. It hung in the air. Tommy was very much-loved in Fermoy and he was a regular fixture walking along the banks of the River Blackwater.

His gentle smile illuminated the town. We were shocked to hear that he had passed away and we send our love, sympathy and best wishes to his family and huge pool of friends.

The My Home in Fermoy recording was produced especially for St Patrick’s Day and put together by choir conductor Lisa Dunphy.

It also incorporates the singing of Dave Roche who had recorded the ballad in recent years before passing away last November at the age of 98. The song is dedicated to both Mr Baker and Mr Roche.

"We have a wonderfully diverse community in Fermoy, around a quarter of the town's population were born outside of Ireland and as a community, we're very close. And nothing says integration and respect more than embracing a local ballad and showering it with focus, love and attention as all of our contributors did with this work.

Tommy Baker, a contributor to Fermoy International Choir’s viral ballad who sadly passed away on Friday.
Tommy Baker, a contributor to Fermoy International Choir’s viral ballad who sadly passed away on Friday.

“It's beautiful from start to finish, a timeless classic, and the magical combination of voices and accents work so well against the backdrop of stunning pictures from local photographer George O'Keefe - coincidentally a son-in-law of Tommy Baker.

“And it was the parting contribution of both Dave and Tommy, two giants in a town they loved and which loved them right back,” Mr Clifford said.

Amongst the nationalities who took part in the production were locals originally from the Netherlands, Poland, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, Germany, French Polynesia, Lithuania and France.

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