Colleagues pay final respects at funeral of Larbert depot bus driver

The funeral cortege of a popular bus driver, who died after contracting coronavirus, stopped at his former deport so colleagues could pay their respects.

By Jonathon Reilly
Friday, 26th February 2021, 5:07 pm
Updated Friday, 26th February 2021, 5:53 pm

Thomas Rooney, better known as Tommy, was revered by co-workers at First Bus' Larbert headquarters, where he worked continuously for 36 years.

The 57-year-old, who died on February 12, was the “heart and soul” of his workplace and renowned for his generosity.

The cortege paused at the Stirling Road depot this morning as staff paid tribute to the “avid” Celtic fan.

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First Bus Larbert staff applauded as the funeral cortege of bus driver Thomas Rooney paused at the depot. Picture: Michael Gillen.

In a touching tribute, Jason Hackett, First Bus operations manager, said: “Tommy Rooney was the heart and soul of the Larbert depot.

“Beloved by everyone, he led the Midland Bluebird Social Club Committee whose primary focus was the welfare of all our current staff and retired staff.

“If anyone started with the business, Tommy would be the first person they engaged with and he would immediately make them feel welcome.

Staff at First Bus' Larbert depot paid tribute to ex-colleague Thomas Rooney. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“He was a mentor, friend and leader to so many within the depot. The sense of loss the entire depot have felt since his passing is testament to the spirit and joy he brought to us all.

“He always had a smile on his face and loved a laugh. He was an avid Celtic FC supporter and loved the banter around the footy with his colleagues.”

The help Mr Rooney offered his colleagues will never be forgotten, as Mr Hackett added: “He always went out of his way to support our retirees with the transition from work and helping them adjust to retirement.

“Everyone used Tommy as a sounding board. As depot manager, even I leaned on his knowledge of the depot and knowledge of the staff he truly cared for.

Tributes were left to Thomas Rooney at First Bus' Larbert HQ following his death on February 12. Picture: Michael Gillen.

“Tommy would help people with any situation, whether it be financial hardship, low morale or even just advice and guidance. He was so generous and would give away his last penny.

“He always worked tirelessly and selflessly as part of the team, so much so that none of us knew where he found the time for himself. The truth was he enjoyed being part of the Larbert team so much it was like a second family to him.

“He was rewarded by others’ happiness. That was him to a tee.

“If there was a situation needing fixed, Tommy was the man who would do everything he could to help. He would engage with staff, cook and supply drinks for team functions.

“You could always go to Tommy. He believed the social club was a lifeline for staff and believed everything they did would keep them at Larbert. And it often did.

“Tommy was an absolute credit to First Midland and his family must be so proud of him.

“Tommy worked for us for 36 years and I have worked with him for over ten years. I can honestly say, in that time, Tommy truly was one of a kind.

“I know that I, along with all the team, will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and messages of utmost sympathy are with his family and loved ones at this sad time.

“Farewell my friend.”

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