Bridie Connaughton

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Bridie Connaughton was a woman of great love and passion, with a strong work ethic and sense of decency, as well as a sense of fun and mischief. “She was quite fiery and very passionate – your typical redhead I suppose,” Paddy Connaughton says of his mother. In his eulogy at her funeral, Paddy told a story from his childhood in Oran, Co Roscommon which sums up her nature. A pig dealer came to the farm where the family reared and sold bonhams and pigs and loaded the Connaughtons’ pigs into his lorry without first agreeing a price with Bridie...

Kathleen (Kay) Swaine

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Kathleen (Kay) Swaine was “the coolest, most beautiful cat in town. She brought the conversation, the glamour and, of course, the 6-inch heels. A cross between Marilyn Monroe and Sue Ellen Ewing, but smarter and more fun.” So her funeral at St Joseph’s Church in Dublin’s Terenure was told. She died of Covid-19 in St James’s Hospital on May 5th. Born on October 17th, 1937 in Dublin’s Rotunda hospital, Kay spent her life between Rathmines and Terenure. Her father, Richard Stewart, was master carpenter at the National History Museum in Dublin for 30 years...

Carmel Dwyer

Born - 1928
Died - 2020

Carmel Dwyer was born on May 8th, 1928, the youngest of nine children, at what was once known as McCaffrey’s Estate – later Ceannt Fort – in Kilmainham, Dublin. After a relatively short education, she took up a job on the production line at Jacob’s biscuit factory in the south inner city. She met her future husband, Noel, at a dance. “It was lady’s choice, I think, and she put her eye on him and that was that,” daughter Teresa O’Connor recalls. The couple got married at the start of 1952 and bought their first and only house in the southside suburb of Walkinstown...

David Griffin

Born - 1952
Died - 2020

News of David Griffin’s death on April 26th was announced with great sadness on the Motorsport.ie Facebook page, where he was described as a “former FF1600 star and member of the Griffin dynasty.” FF1600 refers to motor racing championships involving Ford Formula cars. People sympathising with the family referred to him in comments, again and again, as “a gent” and “a great competitor” who had raced successfully, including winning championship races in the UK. One man recalled how “in 1979 I was looking for a driver for one of my Harlequin Racing Van Diemen RF79 and a mechanic.”..

Tom Hennessy

Born - 1948
Died - 2020

Tom Hennessy was the fifth son in a family of 13 boys born to Julia and Edmund Hennessy at Ballyriggan House, Kilfinane, Co Limerick. He lived a full life on the family farm but rarely ventured beyond Kilfinane throughout his 72 years. Only Tom seemed interested in being a farmer so he inherited the 150 acres. “He enjoyed farming and worked hard all his life,” recalls his brother Eugene. “He never left.” With up to 60 Friesian cows to be looked after and milked daily, as well as pigs and poultry, it was a life-consuming job. He supplied milk to the local creamery...

Hugh Hunter

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

Hugh Hunter was an Aer Lingus man through and through. “He loved Aer Lingus and loved to travel. He travelled the world,” recalls daughter Patricia Gleeson. “As a young lad he used go out to the airport to look at planes,” she said. He grew up in Dublin’s Cabra and was attending the Christian Brothers in North Brunswick St, as well as being in the Pro Cathedral’s Palestrina choir, when his father John heard they were looking for a messenger boy at Aer Lingus headquarters on O’Connell Street...

Thomas (Tommy) Smyth

Born - 1925
Died - 2020

Thomas (Tommy) Smyth was a well-liked and well-respected night worker in the caseroom of the Irish Press for more than 30 years. Born in Dublin on Easter Monday, April 13th 1925, to Denis and Ellen Smyth, Tommy was the youngest brother to Ellen, Sean and Paddy. The family originally lived in Allenwood, Co Kildare, but moved to Gerard Street in Ringsend in Dublin when Tommy was still a young boy. As a child, Tommy contracted TB, and was institutionalised for a year while he recovered from the disease...

John Joseph 'Sonny' Egan

Born - 1932
Died - 2020

Gaelic football and traditional music were the twin passions of John Joseph Egan, fondly known as Sonny to his family and friends in Co Offaly and beyond. Having decided against taking over the family farm, he worked for many years for Bord na Móna, initially digging drains and tapping the bog, later graduating to driving machines to mill and harvest the peat. “He loved being in the outdoors, and he especially loved working with the crew, who were, in his words, ‘all auld country lads from different parishes in an area about 20 miles round’”...

Kathleen (Kay) Marry

Born - 1929
Died - 2020

Born in 1929 to coal merchants Tom and Molly Savage, Kathleen (Kay) Marry lived all her life on North Street in Swords. Educated at the National School in North Street and the local tech school, Kathleen stood out for her sewing skills and, on her teacher’s recommendation, she began her dressmaker apprentice with Fitzpatrick Ateliers on South Anne Street. A skilled artist, she was frequently asked to sketch the fashions on display in nearby Switzer’s window. Kathleen excelled in the art of dressmaking, which she continued to work at for the rest of her life...

Seamus Griffith

Born - 1938
Died - 2020

Seamus Griffith kept a small brown leather suitcase in the attic. It was tied with a butcher’s knot and he delighted in telling his family they were not allowed to open it until he was gone. That time came much sooner than everyone expected. Seamus contracted Covid-19 and died on April 16th. Weeks passed before his family could bring themselves to open the suitcase. When they did, they found the story of his life. Seamus was 13 when his mother Kitty helped him to pack the suitcase...

Sarah (Sally) McEneaney

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

Sally McEneaney was an independent, strong and intelligent woman who adored her family and will forever be remembered by those who loved her. Born Sarah Ellen Coyne in June 1926 to John and Elizabeth Coyne, Sally grew up in Pimlico in the heart of the Dublin Liberties. One of eight children, Sally’s father died tragically in a work incident when she was just 14 years old. The family moved to Crumlin shortly afterwards. Sally decided to leave school at 15 to help her mother and younger siblings financially after her eldest sister moved to Liverpool...

George Callis

Born - 1946
Died - 2020

George Callis was born on July 29th, 1946 and grew up on Cathedral Road on the northside of Cork city. He met his future wife Margaret Aher when they were both in their teens. They were together until her death in 2004. Daughter Deirdre Callis says her father first worked on the buses before getting a job as a postman. A keen trade union man, he worked hard negotiating for better pay and conditions for his colleagues. Deirdre says their summer holidays were magical...

Laura Bernal

Born - 1956
Died - 2020

Laura Bernal was the Argentine ambassador to Ireland, a position she had taken up in 2016. Bernal, who was from Buenos Aires, began her working life as an academic teaching history and international relations. Her diplomatic career began with a posting in Portugal, followed by Colombia and Greece. Between 2008 and 2016 she was head of human resources at the ministry of foreign affairs in Buenos Aires. The highlight of her stay in Ireland was the visit of her compatriot Pope Francis in 2018...

Barry Ward

Born - 1971
Died - 2020

Barry Ward, from Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, contracted Covid-19 while living in the city of Dumaguete on the island of Negros in the Philippines. He had previously suffered from dengue fever, and a compromised immune system may have contributed to his premature death at the age of just 48. Barry distinguished himself both academically and through sport when he was younger. His love of books and sport began at Carrigallen National School. He won his first All-Ireland medal in the Community Games, then held at Mosney, as a determined 10-year-old...

Fr John Nolan

Born - 1936
Died - 2020

A native of Wexford town, John Nolan was born on March 1st, 1936. His mother died when he was child, leaving two small children. John and his older sister were reared as part of their aunt’s family; their father had to find work in England to support them. When John spoke of his early life, he marvelled at the goodness of his aunt who treated his sister and himself as she did her own children. He remembered a happy childhood and young adult years. John entered Cahermoyle, the Oblate Novitiate in Co Limerick, in 1955...

Jack Kelly

Born - 1930
Died - 2020

John (Jack) Kelly lived for most of his life in Ballyleague, Co Roscommon, and while a Rossie by choice he never lost touch with his Wicklow roots. He read the Wicklow People every week. He was born in Tinahely in May 1930 while his wife Nancy Doolin was born in the same month and the same year, in nearby Rathdrum. They met in Rathdrum when he was working there as a mechanic, and emigrated to London, where Jack worked in construction. They married and had their first child, Eamon, in 1955...

Fr John Murphy

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

John Murphy was born on April 1st, 1926 in Termonfeckin, Co Louth – “the cultural capital of the world”, as he himself would say. After his secondary education was completed, he entered the Oblate Novitiate in Cahermoyle, Co Limerick in September 1944. He made his final profession as a missionary oblate of Mary Immaculate at the Oblate Scholasticate, Piltown, Co Kilkenny in 1948, and was ordained a priest there in 1951. After ordination, he was appointed to parish ministry at Corpus Christi parish, Leeds...

Marjorie Ryan Harvey

Born - 1921
Died - 2020

Marjorie Ryan Harvey (99) treasured the autograph book she kept from when she worked as a doctor’s receptionist at Shannon Airport. In the 1940s and 1950s, plenty of movie stars passed through. “At that time, you had to give them inoculation and she had this brilliant book of all these famous people who passed through – John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart – there were loads of stars in it. She absolutely loved the book,” says Marjorie’s daughter Ita. Born on Ballymorris Stud Farm in Cratloe, Co Clare, Marjorie met her late husband, Frank, while he worked at Shannon Airport...

Msgr James Cassin

Born - 1947
Died - 2020

It is perhaps significant that following his death at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny, on June 5th, what people immediately recalled about Msgr Jim Cassin was his warm, understated personality rather than what has been accurately described as his “outstanding contribution” to Catholic education in Ireland. This was reflected at his funeral Mass where Bishop of Ossory Dermot Farrell remembered him as “a wonderful person in so many ways. He was a good pianist. He combined a good intellect with great humility and benevolence...

Joe O'Carroll

Born - 1962
Died - 2020

Joe O'Carroll was a happy-go-lucky, gentle soul who was deeply connected to his hometown of Listowel and Kerry roots despite living abroad for nearly four decades. Born on October 1st, 1962, Joe was one of 10 children who grew up on a farm in the townland of Tullamore. His sister Mairéad, who was one year older, recalls the happy years her brother and siblings spent growing up in rural Kerry. “Life on the farm was mad but they were the happiest times of our lives. Joe was a very happy-go-lucky chap who loved the outdoors and machinery...

Fr Jim O’Donoghue

Born - 1934
Died - 2020

Fr Jim O’Donoghue on his daily walks to get his copy of The Irish Times or, when he was lucky enough to find one, the Kerryman, was an easy and willing mark for those living rough along the Rathmines Road in Dublin or on Castle Street in Belfast. The homeless, whether in inner city Belfast or in Rathmines, knew the priest well and he knew them in turn by name. His good friend and contemporary, Fr John Nevin, remembers Fr Jim’s personal touch and how a kind word expressed face-to-face could “lift up the heart” of people in straitened circumstances...

Caroline Crowley

Born - 1959
Died - 2020

In February 1980, Caroline Daly walked into a record shop on Camden Street, looking for Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime on vinyl. The record was out of stock, but shop assistant Gerry Crowley took her details to place an order. When the record arrived, he went to the hospital where she worked to deliver it to Caroline personally, with a written note asking her to meet him at Cassidy’s pub at 8pm that evening. Within a month, the couple were engaged, and they married that October...

Helen & Brendan Dillon

Born - 1932
Died - 2020 Born - 1928
Died - 2020

Helen and Brendan Dillon grew up less than a mile from each other in Dublin’s north inner city. They met in their 20s when both worked for then State agency the Land Commission, were married for 61 years and died within two weeks of each other to be buried together in Glasnevin Cemetery. She was 87 and he was just three weeks shy of his 92nd birthday. Helen McCormac, as she was then known, lived on Susanville Road in the shadow of Croke Park while Brendan was raised on Addison Road in nearby Fairview...

Sylvester Ryder

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Sylvester (‘Silver’) Ryder was one of 13 children – seven boys, six girls – who grew up in Dublin’s Liberties. He was born there at Carman’s Hall in 1937, he and twin brother Tony. As daughter Valerie O’Hanlon recalled at his funeral, about his familiarity with the area, “he knew every nook and every cranny, every street and every laneway and he loved nothing better than to show off his knowledge and memory about the streets of Dublin”. He was “a proud son of the Liberties and of Dublin...

Richard Brady

Born - 1954
Died - 2020

An Post employee Richard Brady met his future wife Margaret in the mid-1980s when his work on the mail train brought him to Cork. Margaret was in a troubled marriage and Richard offered her and her five children the chance of a new life in Dublin. She took a leap of faith and the couple were together for over three decades until his passing from Covid-19 at the age of 66 on May 6th. They married and went on to have two additional children. Their youngest daughter, Caroline, said her father was a “real man” who stepped up the plate for the whole family...

John Donegan

Born - 1938
Died - 2020

John Donegan met his wife-to-be Mary in a queue for the chipper on Talbot Street in Dublin in the 1960s, and remained devoted to her until the moment he died, calling her name as he passed away from Covid-19 in April. The eldest boy of eight children, John was born in the Liberties in Dublin in April 1938. He grew up there, but after his marriage to Mary, the couple moved to Poppintree in Ballymun, where they lived for most of the rest of their lives. John developed eye disease in his late 20s, and lost his sight...

Edna Murphy

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

Edna Murphy is fondly remembered as an active member of the community in Crumlin, and for helping to set up the local youth club in the Dublin suburb in the early 1970s. Born on January 31st, 1931, to Christopher and Edna O’ Rourke, she was raised in Mercer Street flats near St Stephen’s Green with her five brothers and two sisters. She went to school in Whitefriar Street, before taking up a job in a local shop beside Whitefriar Street Church. In her teens she met Patrick (Paddy) Murphy from Townsend Street, and they married in Westland Row on Easter Sunday in 1952...

Norman Galway

Born - 1933
Died - 2020

“They say you can tell a man by his deeds,” says Robert Galway of his late father, Norman, “but I’m not so sure. I think family, friends and neighbours are a surer way.” Born in Dublin in 1933 to Edward and Marjorie Galway, Norman was the youngest sibling to Eileen, Bobby and Teddy. He grew up on Carnew Street in Stoneybatter, close to the Pheonix Park. Norman spent most of his working life driving around Ireland selling wool. He married Deirdre D’Arcy from Co Wicklow, and moved to Cork, where they raised a family of three boys – Richard, Peter and Robert...

Donal Hurson

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

Donal Hurson spent most of his adult life in Dublin selling shoes on Capel Street, but Co Monaghan was where his heart stayed, and the county finally called him home for two years before he died from Covid-19 in May. Born on January 12th, 1931 to Paddy and Roseanne Hurson, Donal was the second-youngest sibling to Ann, Peggy, Maureen, Paudge, Mickey, Eddie, Jim and Jack. The children grew up in Rooskey in Threemilehouse, Co Monaghan, and the family remained central to Donal throughout his life...

Bill Taylor

Born - 1934
Died - 2020

Bill Taylor was a hard worker with a lifelong love of learning and teaching, and a sportsman who put as much effort in on the field as he did in the office, winning medals as a minor footballer for Dublin, and playing soccer for Bohemians. “Being in goal was the most appropriate place for Bill, as he never took his eye off the ball in any aspect of his life,” his daughter Helen says. Bill was born to Pearl and Albert Taylor on April 4th, 1934, in Athlone, Co Westmeath, an elder brother to Tom and Dermot. Albert died when Bill was just four, leaving his mother alone with three very young sons...

Ena Rice

Born - 1925
Died - 2020

Ena Rice, née Geraghty, was born at 73 Eccles Street, Dublin, on Good Friday, April 10th, 1925. She was, according to her daughter Fiona Rice, a “very proud Dub” whose party piece was The Dublin Saunter, also known as Dublin Can Be Heaven, popularised by Noel Purcell. Ena Geraghty was educated at Warrenmount School on Clarence Mangan Road, Dublin. She married Noel Rice in 1958. The couple had four children, Declan, Fiona, Áine and Ursula. In 1991 Noel died at the age of 61 from motor neurone disease, an illness that was not well understood at the time...

Rita Whelan

Born - 1954
Died - 2020

Rita (Margaret) Whelan, nee Joyce, left Ireland for London in 1979 with husband Tom and their then two children, Louise and Thomas, (Dominick and Christopher would arrive later), but there was a sense in which she never left her beloved Cornamona in west Galway. In later years she loved to reminisce with friends in London’s Irish community about her years working as a young woman at Ashford Castle and Leenane hotels. The fourth child in the family of David and Kathleen Joyce, three girls and two boys, she grew up and attended school in the village before going to work in the hospitality sector locally...

Frankie Benson

Born - 1942
Died - 2020

Frankie Benson was a popular figure in his adopted city of Toronto where he had been a major radio personality in the Irish community for over 40 years. He became known there as “Mr Belfast”. Born in that city’s Antrim Road on July 4th, 1942, he died on May 12th at Toronto’s Etobicoke General Hospital due to coronavirus complications. In 1966, aged 24, he boarded the Soviet liner Alexander Pushkin in London on its journey from Leningrad (St Petersburg) to Montreal in Canada, bringing with him a guitar and a fishing rod. On board he won a singing competition, indicating his life to come...

May Drea

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

May (Mary) Drea spent a happy childhood in Johnstown, Co Meath, one of eight children born to John and Elizabeth O’Brien. She developed a deep affection for the rural way of life that never left her, even in the 1960s and 1970s, when she lived in Dublin. She persuaded husband Martin to move back to Johnstown in the late 1970s. As a young woman she worked for the newly opened Butlin’s holiday camp at Mosney and at Major Edward O’Kelly’s Kilcarn stud near Navan. It is why she was in the Curragh when the Kilcarn-bred Sodium won the 1966 Irish Derby...

Anna O'Sullivan

Born - 1920
Died - 2020

Anna O’Sullivan (née Reilly), who died from Covid-19 in Beaumont Hospital on Friday, May 15th, would have been 100 years old if she had lived until November 1st. A native of Lavey, near Stradone, Co Cavan, she worked in North Middlesex Hospital in London during the Blitz, having gone to England at the age of 19, first to train in Liverpool, and then to work in London. She later remembered how she’d lie in bed at night, hearing the bombs falling through the sky. One night there was a direct hit on the children’s ward of her hospital...

James (Jem) Cleary

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

“That sense of anything is possible never left him,” say Philomena Cleary of her father-in-law, James (Jem) Cleary, a worker with the Irish Glass Bottle Company who, along with four friends, cycled to Rome in 1950, the year Pope Pius XII invited all Catholics to visit the city to celebrate. The story of the epic trip was the “greatest story” of a born storyteller, she says. James and his friends cycled through a continent still ravaged by war, often having to cycle for miles to find a crossing over a river because the bridge they had planned to cross had been blown up during the fighting, and had yet to be replaced...

Carmel Callis

Born - 1929
Died - 2020

Music was a big part of the life of Carmel Callis (nee Feehan), who died of Covid-19 in St James’s Hospital, Dublin, on March 29th. Carmel was born on July 11th, 1929, on Kevin Street, Dublin. Later her parents, James and Mary Feehan, moved to Larkfield in Kimmage, where they lived for several years before settling on Cashel Road in Crumlin. One of a family of nine children, Carmel had a great love of music, and a wonderful voice, says her daughter Maria. As a teenager Carmel joined the Corey Choir in Inchicore, where she met the renowned Irish tenor Dermot Troy, who became her friend and sang at her 21st birthday party....

Joseph G Geary

Born - 1929
Died - 2020

Joseph G (Garry) Geary was a member of the Limerick family who ran the well-known but since closed Geary Biscuit Factory at Merchant’s Quay in the city, though he had no involvement with it himself. Known as Garry he began working as a chartered accountant with the William O’Donnell firm in the city. He became a partner as it evolved through many takeovers down the years. One of seven children, he was a natural teacher who trained “hundreds” of accountants in Limerick, including his niece Siobhán, who recalls his “terrific work ethic and dry sarcastic wit...

Ethel Cashman

Born - 1930
Died - 2020

Ethel Cashman loved the company of lively people and was a great listener. “She had a wry sense of humour, and was well known for her witty asides and acerbic comments. She had a great variety of phrases and sayings from Dublin,” recalls daughter Michele. None of which is surprising because Ethel was as Dublin as they come. Born Ethel Purcell at Finn Street in Stoneybatter, later moving to Oxmantown Road, she grew up with four sisters in a close knit Church of Ireland community. Tragedy struck in 1942 when their father died suddenly aged 47...

Joe Coffey

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

It would not be an exaggeration to say that a highlight of Joe Coffey’s long life was attending the famous Munster win over the All Blacks at Thomond Park in 1978. He loved sport, especially if Limerick or Munster were playing, whether that be in rugby, hurling or soccer. Back in the 1960s and 70s he was very involved with the Community Games and co-managed the local soccer team in Greystones, off the Ennis Road in Limerick. This included bringing players to games. “It was amazing how many footballers you could get into a Ford Escort Estate in those days,” says his son John...

Berna Lee

Born - 1932
Died - 2020

A writer and poet with a sharp mind, great wit and deep intellect, Berna Lee used her gifts to express her life in her own words. Born in Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital on February 2nd, 1932 and brought up in Clane in Co Kildare, Berna would later keep diaries reflecting on her childhood in Ireland before she moved to New York aged 17. “The name given to me was Brigid Bernadette Lee; Brigid in memory of my maternal grandmother, who died before I was born, and also because I was born the day after St Brigid’s day...

Bernard Tormey

Born - 1934
Died - 2020

Bernard (Ben) Tormey was a gentle, kind-hearted and generous man who lived a simple and uncomplicated life and was loved by his siblings, nieces and nephews. Born into a family of nine children in August 1934, Ben grew up on Coburg Place off Seville Place in Dublin. He left school aged 14 shortly after his father’s death and followed in his older brother’s footsteps to work in the Dublin railways – a job he would remain in for 40 years. “I believe he was very good at school but back then you went out to work at the first opportunity you got,” says his niece Natalie Dineen...

Tony Sherlock

Born - 1947
Died - 2020

Tony ‘Shocks’ Sherlock loved to sing and swim, and walk. He walked everywhere, the road was never too long. His favourite song was the Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother. Another was Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry. He would sing both, and others, on Sunday evenings in Walkinstown’s Cherrytree pub. They flew the Dubs’ flag at half mast there when he died. So did the neighbours on Limekiln Green in Walkinstown, as they lined the road for his funeral, for Shocks. It was said “he could make even angry people laugh”...

William Francis Cooper

Born - 1930
Died - 2020

William Francis Cooper always dreamed of returning to education, a goal he achieved following retirement in the late 1990s. Born in Dublin in August 1930, William grew up in Marino. The eldest of six children, he often helped to care for his younger siblings and excelled in school. When he was 13 he left education to embark on a career in printing and trained as a compositor (typesetter). He rose up through the ranks and went on to become a sales director and marking director of a printing company...

Lilli Barker

Born - 1929
Died - 2020

Lilli Barker taught adults literacy skills until she was nearly 80 and also remained an avid tennis player, playing four or five times a week with neighbours. It was in her late 50s when, having reared her five daughters, she began working outside the home. Then she spent years at the EBS head office in Dublin working as a cleaner and in the canteen. It was while there she began teaching literacy skills to adults at the Larkin Centre on Dublin’s North Strand...

Brian Murrayhill

Born - 1945
Died - 2020

Born in Kettering, a small town in Northamptonshire, England, it was in Ireland where Brian Murrayhill made his home. He moved from London to Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, in his 20s as he had family there, and began work in their bricklaying business, which he later took over. He met Bernadette Ryan in a pub in his 30s and moved to Dublin to live with her in a house in Clondalkin. Brian had three children – two in England and his daughter Chelsea (23), who grew up in the home in Clondalkin...

Phyllis Plunkett

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

For almost all her 88 years Phyllis Behan believed she was an only child. Adopted by John and Mary Behan as an infant in Baldoyle, Co Dublin, she spent her first 22 happy, healthy years there. Just earlier this year she found out she had a sister, Eileen, herself married in Northern Ireland with three children. Phyllis’s son Gerry recalled how she was “delighted, thrilled” to find out she had a sister. Phyllis knew she was adopted but never expected she had another sibling. Her children traced Eileen through a genealogical site...

Eleanor Sheehan

Born - 1979
Died - 2020

A brave, positive and stoical woman with a great sense of humour, Eleanor Sheehan was the centre of her family’s lives and brought out the best in everyone. Eleanor was born to Andrew and Ann Sheehan in Tallaght in August 1979. The youngest of four children, she was born with mental and physical disabilities and used a wheelchair from the age of 10. However, despite her disabilities and ill health, Eleanor always had a mischievous sense of humour with a glint of devilment in her eyes...

Conor O’Dwyer

Born - 1939
Died - 2020

Conor O’Dwyer was the epitome of a family man with a huge heart, great charisma and deep compassion and empathy for others. Born in December 1939 in Thurles, Co Tipperary, Conor moved to Dublin in his early teens but never lost his lilting accent. He worked with his father, uncles and brothers in pubs through the 1960s. In 1964 he married Angela McCrann from Boyle in Co Roscommon and the couple had five children. They spent the early years of their marriage in the city centre before moving to Churchtown in the 1970s...

Paddy Boyle

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

In today’s business world Paddy Boyle would be considered a start-up entrepreneur. He was “quick to spot opportunities to open up a new market, or to turn an unpromising prospect into a thriving business”, recalls his son Sean. Paddy started a string of successful small enterprises. He and his wife Pearl established The Furniture Store in Monaghan town in 1960 and supplied furniture, gas cookers and heaters, winning the prestigious Calor-Kosangas Dealer of the Year award in the mid-1970s...

Tony Devenney

Born - 1949
Died - 2020

Anthony (Tony) Devenney was a motorbike man. A “wild card from the day he was born, the minute he was old enough he saved his money and got a motorbike”, says his daughter Fiona. He used to race in Mondello and had the scars to prove it, including breaking both his thumbs. But marriage and motorbikes do not mix and when he met his future wife Colette Garland “the bikes had to go”. They were replaced by cars in a rainbow of colours, including a canary yellow Vauxhall Chevette and Mini Countryman...

Sadie Kennedy Power

Born - 1945
Died - 2020

A woman of exquisite style who loved her Dior red lipstick, classic pearls and bright pashmina, Sadie Kennedy Power was the “centrepiece” of her community and brought love and happiness to people’s lives. Born in Abbeyleix, Co Laois in 1945, Sadie moved to London after school where she trained as a midwife at Whipps Cross Hospital. “I think she was paid very little but loved her life there,” remembers her daughter Sarah. “She spent her wages on nice shoes and clothes and that never changed. She was happiest when going through the clothes rails.”..

John Burns

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

John Burns could have been a farmer were it not for the Guinness barge that sailed into his hometown of Shannonbridge during his youth. His father sold barley to the barge that travelled down from the Liffey and the Grand Canal, through Lough Derg and the Shannon and on to Limerick. Wishing for a better life for his son, he enquired about getting a job for John at the brewery in Dublin. “That started a relationship with Arthur Guinness’s that lasted 40 years,” John’s son Damien says...

Martin McNamara

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

From Gilroe near Gort in Co Galway, Martin McNamara was born on a small farm in March 1937, in a family of six boys and one girl. Like many of his generation he emigrated to England in the early 1950s, at just 15 or 16, says his youngest daughter Julie. He went to Cricklewood in London and worked on the buildings as a labourer, then as a plasterer. He met Joanne Lawlor from Borris in Co Carlow. They married in 1960 and lived at Morden in south London where their five children – Martin, Anthony, Michael, Joanne and Julie – were born...

Yvonne Ferns

Born - 1950
Died - 2020

Yvonne Ferns would have been 70 in October and a birthday party to celebrate her significant milestone had been planned. A karaoke queen, she loved to sing and dance and was looking forward to the occasion. Her family has decided to go ahead with the event in October as the memorial for a mother, wife, grandmother and friend who was always first up to the microphone and on the dance floor at weddings, parties and other family occasions...

Pat McManus

Born - 1960
Died - 2020

Pat McManus, an Irish nurse working in England, died on April 19th, just a month after his 60th birthday. He insisted on being a frontline care worker despite suffering from multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune condition which puts those who have it in a vulnerable position. Pat was originally from Townsend Street in Strabane, Co Tyrone. He spent 40 years working as a nurse, first in Northern Ireland and then after he and his family emigrated to London in 1994 where he worked in Northwick Park Hospital and the Central Middlesex Hospital...

Maisie Byrne

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

Maisie Byrne is remembered by her family and friends as a kind, humorous, loving, caring and strong woman who loved a good sing-song. She was born on May 31st, 1935, in Rathvilly, Co Carlow. Maisie (nee Cummins) was the youngest of three children. When she was just six months old, her father died suddenly, and her siblings Peig and Jim were sent to her grandmother’s to be raised. She stayed with her mother, who remarried. Maisie went to school in Hacketstown, followed by the Sisters of Mercy on Baggot Street, Dublin...

Delia Kennedy

Born - 1925
Died - 2020

Delia Kennedy always joked to her children that she never would have married if she had known she would end up in Dublin. Born on November 8th, 1925, in Rossmore, Co Tipperary, Kennedy met her husband Paddy at school in Thurles. The couple moved to north Dublin in the 1950s and had five daughters – Catherine, Breeda, Patricia, Grainne and Sinead. “She was a Tipperary girl and life was small then,” says Patricia...

James McCarthy

Born - 1936
Died - 2020

James (Jim) McCarthy was a man who “put his family before everything else”, according to his son Kevin. “I remember him taking up Leaving Cert maths classes at night so that he would be better able at helping us with maths homework,” he said. “He just always supported us and our interests as kids.” Born on January 29th, 1936, in Tara Hill, Co Wexford, McCarthy was the second-youngest of eight children. His father died when he was six years old and his mother reared the children along with looking after the family farm...

Stephen Byrne

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

Stephen Byrne (93) should have been celebrating 70 years of marriage with his wife Maura later this year. Instead, Maura had to watch the funeral of her husband, who died of Covid-19, online while suffering from the same disease at St Luke’s Hospital in south Dublin in April. Born on December 26th, 1926, and originally from Arbour Hill, north Dublin, Stephen Byrne had five sisters and four brothers. He qualified as a plumber at Bolton Street Technical School and worked at Guinness Brewery for almost 40 years...

Anne (Nancy) Doyle

Born - 1927
Died - 2020

Nancy Doyle was a loving, loyal and kind mother and grandmother who had a wide circle of friends and was highly regarded in her local Rathfarnham community. Born Nancy Egan in Loughnavalley in Co Westmeath in 1927, she had one older sister (Maureen) and one younger brother (Michael). She moved to Dublin in her early 20s where she worked as a housekeeper in a priest’s home. “She was the original Mrs Doyle,” remembers her granddaughter Anne fondly...

Dave Bacuzzi

Born - 1940
Died - 2020

Islington-born professional footballer Dave Bacuzzi moved to Ireland in 1970 after a club career in England with Arsenal, Manchester City and Reading. He was to enjoy remarkable success as player-manager with Cork Hibernians, where he quickly gained a reputation for spotting the potential in others. He later led an amateur Home Farm side to the FAI Cup and had a hand in developing the career of Liverpool and Ireland star Ronnie Whelan...

Margaret Cullen

Born - 1933
Died - 2020

Margaret Cullen is remembered as a hardworking nurse and mother with a wonderful sense of humour, who was proud of her west of Ireland roots no matter where she travelled to in Ireland or abroad. Born on July 29th, 1933 in Charlestown, Co Mayo to Frank and Peggy Doherty, Mary Margaret Doherty was the eldest sister to John, Vinnie and Anne. In the 1950s she travelled to Kidderminster in Worcestershire, England to train as a nurse, returning to work in Sligo, Galway and Dublin in the late 1950s and 60s. She would make regular trips back to Sligo to visit her family in her little brown Mini...

Cyril Fitzsimons

Born - 1943
Died - 2020

“He was such a big character I can’t even put it in words. He was in a league of his own,” says Cyril Fitzsimons’s son Richard of his father. Born in Dublin in 1943 to parents Eilish and Phil Fitzsimons (of the auctioneers Hassett and Fitzsimons), Cyril Fitzsimons grew up in Ballsbridge. He had two brothers, Michael and Philip, and three sisters, Nuala, Olivia and Elizabeth. He was educated at Blackrock College and left Ireland for the US in 1964, where he joined the US marines and ended up fighting in the Vietnam War...

Jimmy Grogan

Born - 1947
Died - 2020

One of the daily rituals in Jimmy Grogan’s working life for the Office of Public Works was to lower the Tricolour at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, in Dublin, every evening. His son Mark recalls that he would help his father with the job. “He’d come home and have his dinner and I’d walk back with him and we’d take the flag down which was on top of the castle at the gates across from Kilmainham jail.” Jimmy worked for the OPW for 40 years as a general operative. He did not have a professional trade “but was an all-rounder”...

Ruth Burke

Born - 1938
Died - 2020

Ruth Burke (82) was the first woman to die from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland. Her death in the Antrim Area Hospital on March 24th prompted her daughter Brenda Doherty to go on BBC Radio Ulster’s popular Talkback programme and tell people to “wise up” and stay indoors. Ruth Burke (née Madden) was brought up in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, but grew up in north Belfast. She and her husband, Richard snr, were married in 1961...

Patrick Brady

Born - 1934
Died - 2020

When Patrick Brady foiled an attempted Royal Mail post office robbery in the early 1970s, his bravery was rewarded with a medal from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. He was no stranger to the palace, delivering sackfuls of mail on his postal rounds. He also had responsibility for pension cash deliveries to post offices in the Chelsea area. A native of Larabryn, Maynooth, Co Kildare, he moved to London in 1952 and worked for the Royal Mail all his life until retirement...

Jackie Farrell

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

Jackie Farrell from Strabane was the father of a family that was hit hard by Covid-19. His daughter Ursula spent several weeks in intensive care as a result of the virus, but survived. But Jackie, who was 88, succumbed very quickly to the illness. He died in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry on April 2nd, a day after being admitted. Farrell was predeceased by his wife, Mary, and survived by his seven children, John, Liam, Deirdre, Ursula, Bernadine, Kieran and Maria, grandchildren and great-grandchildren...

Ignatius & Mary O’Connell

Born - 1930
Died - 2020 Born - 1933
Died - 2020

On Monday, April 20th, Bronagh O’Connell and her sister Aine buried both their parents in Carrickart graveyard, not far from the holiday home in Downings, Co Donegal, where the four of them had spent many idyllic summers. Both Ignatius and Mary O’Connell, respectively 89 and 86, had died of coronavirus. They had died at their Belfast home, within three days of each other. “The priest told us it was the first time he had ever done a joint funeral,” Bronagh recalls. “I still cannot believe they are both gone.”...

Margaret Robinson

Born - 1939
Died - 2020

When Margaret Robinson closed the front door of the unhappy London house she was forced to call home and set off to see a little known singer perform in the Palladium, she probably had no idea her life was about to take a dramatic turn for the better. Margaret – or Marge as she was known – had a ticket to see Shirley Bassey. It was the late 1950s and the Welsh singer was making waves on the London music scene and on the cusp of stardom. It was a rare night out for Marge, who had been living a sad and lonely life in London for three years...

Frank Cullen

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

Lovable, musical, charming and funny are words used by family to describe Frank Cullen. Known as Frankie to his siblings and many friends, but always Frank to his wife Peg, he was from that war generation who knew hardship but never let it get in the way of laughter and shenanigans. Laughter was Frank’s daily medicine. Friends and family were always treated to enormous hugs and kisses, and his big happy smile. Neighbours and acquaintances, even strangers on the street were all gifted a nod, a smile and a chat...

Nancy Whyte

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Nancy Whyte was 82 when she died. Of course, as her daughter Philomena puts it, she was 82 for about a decade beforehand as well. She added a year here and took a year away there when it suited her. Hedging her bets, keeping a bit for herself. “She had many names as well, it turns out,” Philomena says. “Everyone called her Nancy but that’s not her birth name at all. She always said it was Mary-Anne but even that’s not the truth either. We found out when she died that that her name was actually Anne-Mary...

Teresa O’Brien

Born - 1934
Died - 2020

Teresa O’Brien had a tough start in life. A frail baby when she was born in Dublin in September 1934, she was immediately given up to be fostered. It was, however, a happy placement, and her foster mother Margaret Byrne went on to adopt her and brought her up in Beggar’s Bush. Teresa O’Rourke, as she was then, went to school at the Sisters of Mercy on Baggot Street, and throughout her childhood she shared her home and formed a bond with other foster children. Teresa’s children remember the stories she would tell of this time in her life...

Brendan O’Reilly

Born - 1928
Died - 2020

At the tender age of “88 and a half” Brendan O’Reilly travelled for 14 hours in order to visit his grand-daughter Tanya in Alberta, Canada. He watched his first ice hockey match and promised he would return some summer. That wasn’t to be as Brendan broke his hip and contracted coronavirus six months after he entered a care home. He died on April 25th. Brendan was a driving force behind the formation of the Donnycarney branch of the St Vincent de Paul, the local Credit Union and Social Centre...

Christopher ‘Kicky’ McCormack

Born - 1987
Died - 2020

Not long before his illness, Christopher McCormack travelled to Belfast with his brothers Paudie (34) and Paul (41) to see The Strokes. Music was one of the loves of his life – he and his brothers had always scrambled for Glastonbury tickets, and Christopher had seen Dublin outfit Fontaines DC seven times in one year. “It’s strange when I think back, we didn’t know it was going to be his last concert,” Paudie says of the Belfast trip. “We were joking that they didn’t play their biggest hit Last Nite and Christopher said we would catch them again.”...

Eoin O’Malley

Born - 1936
Died - 2020

As a proud Gaeilgeoir, Eoin O’Malley’s favourite saying was “Tóg go bog é” – “take it easy” – and they were among the last words he spoke. His son Mark fondly remembers a GAA-loving father of conflicting allegiances, a man who dabbled in several careers and who maintained a natural curiosity in life. He was born in Cork on May 18th, 1936, and although raised in Cahir, Co Tipperary, Eoin held onto his Cork roots. Most of his life, however, was spent in Dublin...

Esther Jennings

Born - 1924
Died - 2020

Esther Jennings was “a very good friend and amazing Granma”, says her granddaughter Emily, “glamorous, super-independent, strong-willed and spoke her mind. She also packed a mean jab of the fingers at the upper arm if you made the rookie error of sitting too close while she was midway through an enthusiastic story. Somehow, she never lost that strength to bruise!” Born in Kilkenny on April 20th, 1924, Esther Young was the second-eldest with eight brothers and one sister...

Paddy McCarney

Born - 1954
Died - 2020

Paddy McCarney’s children recall Sunday drives to their granny’s house in Achill to the soundtrack of their father’s favourite musicians – Dire Straits, Queen, Fleetwood Mac. “We would all sing happily in the car,” says his son Eoin (29). “Two of his favourite things were music and driving to scenic places.” Named due to his birth’s proximity to the national holiday in 1954, Paddy was only 66 when he died...

Lawrence McManus

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

Lawrence (Larry) McManus was born in 1926 in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, and spent his childhood in the village of Tamlaght where he attended Tattygar Primary School. He married his late wife Dorothy and the couple moved to Belfast before later returning to Fermanagh where McManus spent many years working in a sawmill before taking up employment with the Housing Executive and remaining there until he retired...

Brigid Sreenan

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

“She always said she was never happier than when she was helping her father on the bog as a child,” recalls Dermot Sreenan of his mother, Brigid. Born Brigid Fallon on May 27th, 1931, in the townland of Greenhall, Co Longford, her family were small-hold farmers. “She was from that generation who had nothing,” he says. “It was in the days when sons inherited everything; all the land, and she was bitter about that, I do know that. She would have wanted to stay on the farm, but couldn’t.”...

Elizabeth Morris

Born - 1929
Died - 2020

Elizabeth Morris was the cornerstone of her family and set the tone for everything in her Cloiginn Road home in Dublin’s Ballyfermot. Widowed in 1970 at the age of 39 with 12 children between 18 and two, she had grown up in a military family. Her father, John Duffy, was a medical officer in the Irish Army and her mother, Mary, looked after six children, five boys who all became soldiers, and Elizabeth. Also known as Betty, she was born on October 9th, 1929 in what is now Cathal Brugha barracks...

Bernard King

Born - 1932
Died - 2020

Bernard King started his working life building roads for Mayo County Council and when he was 19 or 20 was promoted to become a steam engine driver. Advised to apply for the guards, he did a correspondence course from Kilroy’s College to prepare for the exam. A garda in Dublin from 1953-1980, he was promoted and moved to Boyle for a few years. Then it was back to Dublin, a further promotion and time in Cavan-Monaghan, before finishing his policing career as chief superintendent in Dún Laoghaire...

Joseph Swaine

Born - 1940
Died - 2020

“He could talk about anything in the world,” recalls Rita Paul of her late brother, Joseph (Joe) Swaine. “Music, politics, it didn’t matter what it was. He read so much. He knew so much.” Joe Swaine was born on February 3rd, 1940, the eldest of six. Aged four, his family moved from Dún Laoghaire to settle in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, where he attended national school.  “The teacher used to joke that she could never get me to talk, yet she could never get my brother to shut up.”...

Patricia Kelly

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

“Glamorous,” is how Patricia Kelly’s daughter-in-law, Brenda Kelly, describes her late mother-in-law. “She was all style. She wore matching twin-sets, and was always beautifully turned out. One of the last things she was talking about was what would she wear to her granddaughter’s wedding later this year. She was always such fun, and full of energy.” Patricia O’Connor was born on February 28th, 1937 in Dublin. As a girl, she was involved with the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society, and developed a lifelong love of music and opera...

Paddy Davis

Born - 1933
Died - 2020

Born in 1933 on Dorset Street in Dublin to Arthur and Agnes Davis, Paddy was the eldest of nine children. At the age of 12 he left school and went to live with his grandparents, taking a job as a messenger boy. His grandfather had a horse and cart and worked from Dublin’s fruit and fish markets, but he drank heavily, and Paddy had a hard upbringing, according to his son Stephen. Paddy met Mary Storey at a dance in the city centre. She was from Gardiner Street...

Florence Wylie

Born - 1940
Died - 2020

Florence Wylie was born Florence Mills on December 23rd, 1940, in Ballybay, Co Monaghan. She was one of 11 children and raised on a farm. As a young girl she went to work in England for some years; in wool and fabric shops. She had met cattle dealer Nelson Wylie prior to travelling to England and they continued to correspond by letter throughout her time there. The couple married and settled in Castleblayney. They had two children and, subsequently, two grandchildren...

Danny Delaney

Born - 1942
Died - 2020

Danny Delaney was a Stradbally man to the core and from a distinguished Co Laois sporting family. The GAA Leinster Senior Football Championship trophy, the Delaney Cup, is named after his clan. The youngest of four brothers – John and twins Teddy and Kyrle survive him – he was born on December 1st, 1942, and in his youth played for Stradbally GAA club, representing club and county in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Just 17 when he first played for Laois at senior level, he was on the winning Stradbally team in the 1959 and 1963 intermediate championships...

Alice Kennedy

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Alice Kennedy’s abilities as an organiser shone through in her work with the Irish Elderly Advice Network in London and her establishment of the Irish Elderly choir, which performed in the Royal Albert Hall. “There was no such thing as it couldn’t be done,” her brother Seamus Culleton said of her bubbly, problem-solving personality. A native of Clonaslee, Co Laois, she was born on March 2nd 1937 to William Culleton a Land Commission worker and his wife Mary Tobin...

Fr James Hurley

Born - 1926
Died - 2020

Fr James Hurley was immensely proud that his birthday was on China’s National Day, October 1st. The Jesuit priest, known to his community as Jimmy but as James to his family, had spent 58 years of his life in Hong Kong before returning to live in Ireland in 2014. “He began working with secondary students in 1962 and became closely involved in the student movement there,” says his nephew Dick Lincoln. He was also a founding member of Amnesty International in Hong Kong...

Mary Harding

Born - 1927
Died - 2020

Having cared for patients during Ireland’s polio epidemic as a young nurse in the 1950s, Mary Harding “was a frontline worker before they invented the phrase”, says her daughter Siobhan. The eldest of nine children, Mary was born on December 27th, 1927, in Eyeries, west Cork to Johnny and Hannah Hanley. She attended her great-aunt Kate’s village school at the early age of two and a half. This, and her parents’ influence, instilled in her a love of learning...

Tarlach MacNiallais

Born - 1962
Died - 2020

The month of March began with a glorious Sunday morning, perfect for the St Pat’s For All Parade in Queens, New York, that celebrates diversity and equality as much as Irish heritage and culture. Among the organisers was the gregarious Tarlach MacNiallais, who had worked long and hard for inclusion of the long excluded. He was known for his decades of advocacy for LGBT and disability rights. “A battering ram on issues of importance,” according to Harriet Golden...

Sheila Geoghegan

Born - 1941
Died - 2020

Sheila Geoghegan’s early career as one of Aer Lingus’s first air hostesses in the 1960s brought together three of her great loves: travel, music, and meeting people. The second-youngest of six children, she was born in Warrenpoint, Co Down, on April 22nd, 1941. Her mother Maureen worked in the drawing room in Harland & Wolff in Belfast, and was a keen historian and contributor to The Irish Times. Her father Eugene was a plumber and a prizewinning athlete...

Tom Mulholland

Born - 1936
Died - 2020

Tom Mulholland was “not a number, not a statistic” but a husband, father of eight, grandfather of 16, brother, uncle, cousin, neighbour, friend and community man, according to his daughter Róisín Duffy. Born on March 8th, 1936, Tom lived his entire life in Kilkerley, a small village just outside Dundalk. Tom was a farmer, and following his schooling, he worked with his father on the family farm. He spent every day working the fields and building up his dairy herd...

Gerard Mulvaney

Born - 1961
Died - 2020

When Gerard Francis Mulvaney was a boy in the late ’60s and early ’70s he used to help his father with his morning milk round, racing from house to house, carefully placing glass bottles on the doorsteps of people living across Dublin 8. He was only a child but those early mornings he spent with his father taught him lessons he would carry with him throughout his life. It was on those rounds that he developed his “hard work ethic”, says his daughter Ciara...

Carmel Hickey

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Carmel Hickey (nee McHugh) was born in 1937 into a large family in the North Wall area of Dublin but she grew up on Sperrin Road in Drimnagh. As a child she developed a passion for singing and dancing, and it was a passion which stayed with her throughout her adult life. “She loved ballroom dancing and still loved to have a dance when the mood took her,” says her daughter Michelle. “She had a lovely singing voice and used to enter competitions when she was young...

Joseph Jennings

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

Joe Jennings was so proud of the All-Ireland minor medal he won with Mayo in 1953, that it and the cup he got from Ballinrobe GAA club were placed on his coffin for his funeral. He was proud too of getting the highest grade in Ireland for geography the year he did his Leaving Certificate. Born in Rahard, Ballinrobe on May 13th, 1935, he was the 10th of 13 children and his sisters Bridie, Vera and Frances are the surviving siblings...

Marie Keown

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

Marie Keown (nee Kelly) was born in Arklow, Co Wicklow on August 1st, 1935, the eldest of three daughters. Her father, John Kelly, was a sailor in the merchant navy and would bring the girls – Marie, Nelly and Nancy – gifts from around the world on his return to port. Her parents Kathleen and John brought the family up at Connelly Street in the town centre. Keown was educated at St Mary’s College Arklow, run by the Sisters of Mercy, and it was there that she developed a love of singing and art...

James Hynes

Born - 1940
Died - 2020

He was christened James Hynes, but his nickname was “Jim-for-a-while”, explains his daughter Caitriona Hynes. A life-long supporter of the GAA, and a man who gave up much of his time training junior teams, he got the nickname from his gentle, tactful method of handling players who were not doing their best on the field. “He’d never criticise their performance or say they were having a bad day. He’d just say, ‘ah, I’ll take you off for a while’, even though they’d inevitably be off then for the rest of the game...

Patricia Petherick

Born - 1930
Died - 2020

Patricia Petherick’s daughter Ruth had been sorting through thousands of family photographs in the attic in the run-up to her mother’s 90th birthday. “It was great in the sense that I learned stuff about her that I didn’t know. It started out as one of these jigsaw puzzles where nothing fits and then gradually a picture started to emerge,” she says. Patricia was born in Dublin in 1930, one of six children to Richard McEvoy and Brigid Kelly...

Andrew O'Halloran

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

When Andy O’Halloran worked in Leeds in the 1960s, he was a regular at Elland Road stadium and was friendly with some of the soccer legends of a golden era, including Norman Hunter. For his family it was a poignant irony that Norman died two days after their dad, both with Covid-19. Andy worked on building sites as a crane erector, having moved to Leeds with his English wife, Rhona Clark, whom he met in Dublin when she lodged with friends of his...

Joseph (Joe) Duffy

Born - 1937
Died - 2020

Joseph Duffy, who was known to all as Joe, shared a love of dancing with his wife Eileen. “I met him at a dance in the Metropole ballroom across the road from Clery’s on O’Connell Street” in Dublin, she recalls. “I think it was a Sunday afternoon dance. Joe was a fabulous dancer and we danced the night away.” Joe from Fairview in Dublin, was born on February 19th 1937, the youngest boy in a family of seven boys and six girls. His dad was an army captain and his mother stayed at home to bring up their 13 children...

Yvonne Mathers

Born - 1950
Died - 2020

Yvonne Mathers (nee Patterson) was born in the village of Waringstown in Co Down on January 28th, 1950. She spent her days playing in the fields with her sister Liz without a care in the world. Thomas, her father, was a repairman, while her mother Violet baked “as long as mum and her sister were not under her feet”, says Yvonne’s daughter Joanne. Yvonne’s parents, both of whom have passed away, always encouraged her to do the 11 plus, which she did...

Colm Healion

Born - 1932
Died - 2020

Laois and the GAA were central to Colm Healion’s life. And 1949 was a crucial year. His beloved county were playing Tipperary in the All-Ireland hurling final and he joined the Laois Association Dublin. It was a major moment in his life, because that was the year he met Bridie Mulhall from Glosna, a founder member of the association, which was established as a way of bringing the Laois community together and supporting the team...

Frank Halpin

Born - 1928
Died - 2020

Long before the internet transformed the business world, mail order companies were a feature of Irish life and Frank Halpin worked for one of the biggest. He was a sales manager for the catalogue company first known as Morses, then Family Album and now Littlewoods Ireland, which did door-to-door sales for everything from clothes to electrical goods. A dapper man, Frank wore a suit all his working life and even afterwards always wore a shirt and tie...

Winifred (Minnie) Montgomery

Born - 1923
Died - 2020

Winifred Montgomery, known to everyone as Minnie, radiated positivity and always had a smile on her face, especially for her 12 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. “She was absolutely brilliant,” says one of those grandchildren Brian Gregan. “She was just so kind, there was nothing she couldn’t do for you, whether it was making food, or looking after the house or minding you – a typical Irish mammy.”...

John Gallagher

Born - 1933
Died - 2020

John Gallagher has been described as a colossus and a legend of the Liberties in Dublin. A community worker, activist, Dublin city councillor for the Labour Party and the city’s deputy lord mayor, he was a cornerstone of The Coombe, where he was born in the last of the old weavers’ houses. A passionate defender of the city’s heritage, he was chairman of the Liberties Association and one of the main movers in the high-profile but ultimately unsuccessful campaign in the late 1970s to save the Viking site at Wood Quay, where Dublin City Council’s head office was constructed...

Hugh (Aodh) Kieran

Born - 1947
Died - 2020

Hugh (Aodh) Kieran loved going to quizzes and went to all the events hosted at his local library in Dundalk. He was a valued member of the Louth library service, an avid reader and a history buff. Christened Hugh after his father, he was known to family and friends as Aodh. They all also considered him a gentleman and a gentle man, according to his niece Tereza Kieran. He was a man “of keen intellect, a wealth of knowledge, and a lover of music and art”...

Betty Hart

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

She was christened Kathleen Elizabeth Ryan on June 19th, 1931, in Cobh, Co Cork, but was always known as Betty. The family moved to Clonakilty when she was 11, and that’s where she spent the rest of her life. She married Patrick Hart in 1955, and had to give up her job in the Department of Agriculture, due to the Marriage Bar. They had seven children and 20 grandchildren. On the death of her grandmother, her father inherited a grocery shop in the town, and Hart took over the running of it...

Francis (Frank) Musgrave

Born - 1920
Died - 2020

“He spent his whole life in Dublin,” Eamon Musgrave says of his father, Francis. He was born on November 1st, 1920 in Dublin, grew up in Phibsborough, and then spent the rest of his life near the Navan Road. At 16, he went to work for CIÉ as a coach builder; a company he was loyal to all his life, and with whom he spent his entire working life. “He was a hard worker. He worked six days a week, and did overtime on Saturdays.” In 1956, he married Elizabeth Fay. They had two children, and seven grandchildren...

Judy Wall

Born - 1947
Died - 2020

Among Judy Wall’s many skills was her expertise at knitting. Just by looking at a photograph and without a pattern, a cardigan or jumper would fly up on her knitting needles. The five Wall children regularly sported her handiwork. “We all had matching jumpers throughout our lives,” said her daughter Linda. And on St Patrick’s Day or a big event the younger children had Irish flag or other themed jumpers. She would sew curtains and cushions and turn up trousers...

John Deffew

Born - 1945
Died - 2020

John Deffew’s beloved daughter Eileen died from cancer at the age of 39, just eight weeks before his own death on April 18th. “She was the apple of my father’s eye. He completely adored her,” says her sister Frances. Eileen had cat eye syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. John was in St Vincent’s community nursing home in Mountmellick, Co Laois. The staff were wonderful, his daughter says and “he may as well have been in his own back garden” as some of his older neighbours were there too...

Elizabeth (Liz) Traynor

Born - 1941
Died - 2020

Elizabeth Kinsella, known to family and friends as Liz, met the love of her life Jim Traynor in a London hospital ward. She was 19 at the time and worked in catering in the hospital. Jim was 19 too and a patient who had come in after a motorbike accident. “Their eyes met across the ward and that was it,” says her daughter Madeleine Blake. She had moved to England aged 16 from her home in Ferns, Co Wexford where she was born on April 4th, 1941, one of three children...

John McGroddy

Born - 1938
Died - 2020

John McGroddy and his wife Nell were both in the Tara Winthrop nursing home in Swords, Co Dublin, when they contracted Covid-19 within days of each other. While Nell is recovering from the virus, John, called Johnny by his family, died on March 29th, the first from the nursing home to die with coronavirus. The couple were together for more than half a century and Nell had moved into the nursing home to be with him. The funeral was an eerie experience, with no hugging or consoling each other and standing apart in the car park...

Rose Hegarty

Born - 1935
Died - 2020

It was the flowers in bloom Rose Hegarty was most looking forward to this coming summer; she was a true nature lover. From Barnlodge, Finglas, north Dublin, she was “always full of life”, with a particular love for gardening, music and colourful clothes, says her niece Jane Carrigan. Rose was raised by her aunt after her mother died when she was very young. In the 1960s she moved to England where she worked as a secretary. It was in London she met John, from Co Derry, who she would go on to marry, and the pair would move back to live in Ireland...

Harry O’Callaghan

Born - 1946
Died - 2020

Harry O’Callaghan had always dreamed of owning a house in France. Last year he finally signed the papers on his own French holiday home, just months before he died from Covid-19 at the age of 75. Born on January 9th, 1946, to Jim and Bridie O’Callaghan, Harry had one sister Noreen, and three brothers Don, Jim and Seanie. After Bridie died when Harry was only six years old, her sister, known as “Lolo”, returned from London to care for him and his siblings until they reached adulthood...

Thomas Meade

Born - 1931
Died - 2020

Thomas Meade’s devotion to his wife Maureen was such that when it became obvious she would need nursing home care, he decided they would move into one together. Better known as Tom or Tommy, he had been her main carer in recent years as she suffered from eye disease and dementia, but his own deteriorating health saw him resolve that they would go to a care setting in Loughshinny, near their Rush, Co Dublin, home. After 63 years of marriage they moved in December 2019, and he joined the choir there in an effort to settle in...

Teresa Kelly

Born - 1930
Died - 2020

“She was genuine, selfless and loving,” says Gabriel Kelly of his late mother, Teresa Kelly. She was born Teresa Smith on October 9th, 1930, in Tullybrick, Co Cavan. At the age of 16 she went first to Newcastle in Northern Ireland and then Belfast, where she worked as a housekeeper and cook. While in Belfast she met Patrick Kelly, a painter and decorator. They married in 1962, had three children and subsequently three grandchildren. In 1968 they came back to her home place and settled there...