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Tom Clarke 1959-2007

Three-time Ulster champion and former President of the Ulster Chess Union, Tom Clarke passed away in the early hours of Tuesday 3rd April. A Memorial Service was held for him on Saturday 19th May.

Tom was probably the most prolific tournament winner ever in Ulster chess, and he also had many victories in the rest of Ireland and Great Britain. He represented Ireland in the 1988 and 1992 Olympiads and also the 1989 European Team Championship.

He will be greatly missed by all his fellow chess players in Ulster and further afield. We send our sincere condolences to his family.

A Memorial Service was held for Tom at St Patricks Parish Church, Upper Malone, Belfast on Saturday 19th May. Officiating at the service was the Reverend Ray Devenney, himself a former Ulster and Irish chess champion.

There was a splendid turn-out of work colleagues and chess players. Among the tributes paid was one from Clifton House teammate Damien Cunningham.

As well as locally-based players, two fellow Irish internationals and long-time rivals over the board, Mark Orr and Keith Allen, travelled from Scotland and the Isle of Man respectively to pay their respects. One of Ireland's leading lady players, Geariodin Ui Laighleis, made the journey from Dublin to be present.

Tom's widow, Chrissy, has asked that a thank you be extended from her to all the people who attended the Service from the UCU and the ICU (and anyone who doesn't fit into either category) for their kindness and support.

She also thought that the service was lovely, the readings were well put across and the eulogies were a great tribute to Tom and "what a truly wonderful man he was and still is" and that this was shown by the amount of people that attended.

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