Sometimes, there is something so tragic that happens,,, it takes your breath away and the weight on your chest is so heavy from your heart that you have to think to take a breath. That is how I have felt since I opened up an email on Sunday morning and read Tom's letter to me about his friend being struck by a car while he was riding a bicycle in Jaco. It was their last day here and they were returning their rental bikes. Both were here vacationing and were to return to Connecticut the next day when this happened. Matt would have been back to work today at the firehouse.
Lt. Martin "Matt" Dirrane was a firefighter for 16 years at the West End Station on Sisson Ave in Hartford. I had breakfast with him and his friend Tom eariler that morning. I cannot believe something so tragic happened and I mourn for his mother, his family, his friends, and his fellow firefighters.
December 20th, 2010:
Martin K. "Matt" DIRRANE
DIRRANE, Martin K. "Matt" Martin K. "Matt" Dirrane, 50, of Waterford, passed away tragically as a result of an accident in Costa Rica, Saturday (December 11, 2010). Matt was born in Hartford, and was raised in East Hartford. He graduated from George J. Penny High School and attended Daniel Webster College of Aviation prior to going on to Indiana State University. Matt was an Ironworker for Local 15, Hartford, for 13 years before becoming a Hartford Firefighter. He was proud to have served on the busiest Tactical Rescue Unit in the United States. He was promoted to Lieutenant and served at Ladder Company 5. Matt was a proud member of the following organizations, the Hartford Firefighters Emerald Society, the International Association of Firefighters, the Patrol and Firemans Association, the Police and Fireman's Association, the Fireman's Benevolent Society, the Firefighters Local 760, and the Firefighters Protective Association. He was also a past member of the Irish American Home Society, Glastonbury. Matt leaves behind his adoring family, to include his mother, Theresa (Faherty) Derrane, a sister, Pauline (Derrane) Wyatt and her husband Tom; his cherished nieces and nephews, Summer, Mary Grace, Megan, and Joseph Wyatt. In addition, Matt is also survived by a son, Kevin, in California, a large extended Irish family, and many close, dear friends. He was predeceased by his father, Joseph Derrane, and his two brothers, Joseph and Robert Derrane. Matt was known for his adventurous spirit, love for life, had a great passion for fitness and sports, along with a tremendous sense of humor and being a skillful practical joker. No one, from the very young to the very old, was safe; he played jokes on us all. Matt had a gift of making everyone feel great. At the very least, you smiled around Matt, but typically you left laughing. Matt was larger than life, and was loved by all who knew him. He was a strong hard worker, who was proud of his Irish heritage. Above all, Matt was a guardian, extremely loyal and loving to his friends and family. He was our rock, who will be missed forever. Now, he is our guardian angel. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrating Matt's life, will be held, Tuesday (December 21, 2010) at 10 a.m. in the Church of the Incarnation, 544 Prospect Street, Wethersfield, with Rev. Fr. Michael Galasso officiating. Friends are asked to go directly to the church. Interment will be Wednesday (December 22, 2010) 11 a.m. at Jordan Cemetery, 240 Boston Post Road, Waterford. All are welcome to attend. Friends and relatives may call on the family at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, Monday, December 20, 2010, from 3-7 p.m. Memorial donations in Matt's name, may be made to the Hartford Firefighters 20 Club, 778 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT 06114. The Derrane family wishes to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation, for the overwhelming love and support we have received and given to Matt from so many of you. We would also like to extend a special thank you to the Hartford Fire Department, the Hartford Police Department, Dan Nolan, Neville Brooks, and Greg Kelley. To extend online condolences or for further information, please visit farleysullivan.com.
Published in The Hartford Courant