Conor O’Dwyer obituary: A man who ‘gave more than he got all his life’

Devoted family man who loved sports and played rugby for Railway Union in Dublin

Conor O’Dwyer was proud of all five of his children and supported their endeavours through life.

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Conor O’Dwyer 1939-2020

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.


Conor was devoted to Angela and the couple loved ballroom dancing while also working side by side in pubs on Merrion Row and Pearse Street.

“He was a real sentimental guy and family was so important to him,” remembers his son Tom. “He cared for my mum so much and was always keen to buy her jewellery at Christmas, he was a real romantic. They both had great faith and that stayed with him all his life.”

Conor loved sports and played rugby for Railway Union in Dublin but never tired of supporting his beloved Munster. He often went fishing in Roundwood and Lough Dan and spent most of the summer on the Moy River. In 2017 he was made an honorary life member of the Co Wicklow Anglers Association.

Conor also loved racing and golfing and in his later years built up a reputation as a pool shark in his local men's shed in Kill, Co Kildare, where he had moved with Angela in the mid-1990s.

His great passions were nature, boats and car boots sales. And he loved watching the sunrise or the boats come in at Dún Laoghaire Harbour or in Baltimore, west Cork.

He was proud of all five of his children and supported their endeavours through life. “Growing up he made sure we wanted for nothing but we weren’t spoilt,” says Tom. “We all had to row the boat on the lake, we all had to sort the bottles in the pub on Saturday, we all had to caddy in Enniscrone.”

Appreciated outside the family

He spent the final eight years of his working life as a taxi driver. “He loved it, his favourite thing was to pick up fares from the airport and show tourists the sights of the city. He loved people and was very proud of this country.”

Conor also helped deliver bloods from doctors to medical laboratories around Dublin. The recent messages of condolences from surgeries reminded his loved ones how much Conor was appreciated outside the family.

“The things they said were unbelievable, we had never met these people. Their condolences showed us how much of a great character he was,” says Tom.

“He shared himself with everyone and gave more than he got all his life. He was a tremendous listener, advice giver and was proud of his family. He was happy when those around him were happy.”

On Tuesday, April 7th Conor was admitted to hospital and on Thursday he tested positive for Covid-19. He died two days later aged 80, on Easter Saturday, April 11th. He is survived by his wife Angela, his children and his six grandchildren.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast