Lives Lost to Covid-19: Brendan O’Mahony was a kind and thoughtful man

Former lorry driver loved his family dearly and enjoyed gardening

Brendan O’Mahony was a quiet man who ‘rarely got cross’

Brendan O’Mahony was a quiet man who ‘rarely got cross’

 

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. You can read more of them here. If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email liveslost@irishtimes.com

Brendan O’ Mahony

1936-2020

Brendan O’Mahony died of Covid-19 at Clonakilty Community Hospital in west Cork in April 2020.

He had moved into the facility six months earlier after suffering a stroke. His daughter Ann works there as a carer and was initially able to see him regularly.

However, when the 83-year-old was diagnosed with the virus all visits ceased. On the night before he died, Ann had the heartbreaking experience of saying goodbye to her father after a night sister allowed her in in full PPE.

“I will be forever grateful for those precious moments with him. His shoulders shrugged when I put my hands on his shoulder. Maybe it was the shock of hearing my voice because he hadn’t heard me in three weeks. I told him he was going to a better place.”

Brendan was the son of a nurse and a sergeant in An Garda Síochána. Born in to a family of five in Co Wicklow, he moved around quite a bit because of his father’s job. However, the majority of his childhood was spent in Moate, Co Westmeath. He had relations in west Cork and it was there he met his beloved wife Mary McCarthy at a match.

Brendan O’Mahony as a young man
Brendan O’Mahony as a young man

A quiet man who “rarely got cross”, Brendan settled with his wife in Mealisheen in Leap and had four children Ann, Pat, Mary and Geraldine.

Brendan worked as a lorry driver. A generous and thoughtful man, Ann says he always wanted the best for his family. “He would always ask about the children and how they were progressing. I work in the unit where Dad died and I think of him as I walk around.

“He liked gardening. I have great memories of sitting in the greenhouse with him and he would be saying, ‘Do you want some lettuce or strawberries?’ He was so generous and kind.

“His anniversary is on my first child’s birthday. We will mark the day at home.”

Ann has fond memories of one of her last visits with her father. They were looking out at the birds in the garden.

“I was saying, ‘Can you see the birds?’ He had macular degeneration but he said, ‘I do. I do. I see them.’ It was a beautiful sunny day. Little did I think that would be my last day sitting out with him.”

Covid-19: Lives Lost

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