James McCarthy obituary: Wexford-born gentleman who put others first

Devoted family man worked at Dublin District Milk Board and managed GAA teams

James McCarthy (84) from Lucan: “He adored his grandchildren and loved tricking and joking with them. He was always looking out for elderly neighbours and things like that.”

James McCarthy (84) from Lucan: “He adored his grandchildren and loved tricking and joking with them. He was always looking out for elderly neighbours and things like that.”

 

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at irishtimes.com/covid-19-lives-lost. If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email liveslost@irishtimes.com

James McCarthy

1936-2020

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.

McCarthy went to agricultural college in Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, following his Leaving Cert. He moved to Dublin in the early 1960s and spent his life working for the Dublin District Milk Board. He met his wife Elizabeth, a nurse from Co Leitrim, while holidaying in Co Clare. The couple married in 1968 and bought a home in Lucan.

They had seven children – Fintan, Niall, Kevin, Ailish, Bríd, Ann-Thérèse and Sinéad – and nine grandchildren.

“He adored his grandchildren and loved tricking and joking with them,” Kevin says. “People would have described him as a gentleman and very kind, always putting others before himself. He was always looking out for elderly neighbours and things like that.”

Lucan Sarsfields GAA

McCarthy was heavily involved with Lucan Sarsfields GAA club, managing a number of their Gaelic football teams. While he supported Dublin’s footballers, he cheered for Wexford’s hurlers throughout his life.

McCarthy suffered from dementia in recent years and entered Marymount Care Centre in 2019.

“My mam would have visited him there every day until the restrictions obviously,” says Kevin. “They were a very devoted couple – it was hard for her in particular when he went in there. They were married over 50 years and were soulmates.

“She looked after him until he went into Marymount and he was always a great husband to her.”

McCarthy was diagnosed with Covid-19 in April and died on April 27th, aged 84. A small funeral was held at St Mary’s Church in Lucan.

“We did get in to see him on the Saturday and Sunday in PPE gear before he died,” says Kevin “My brother and sister were with him when he passed away so that actually was a big comfort for us at the end.”

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