Lives Lost to Covid-19: Marie Farrell had a fantastic sense of humour, very mischievous

Marie lived her life, full of love and respect for anybody she met

Marie Farrell 1941–2021

Marie Farrell, who died aged 79, was a very popular, sociable woman. "She knew everyone who crossed her path in Finglas, " recalls her daughter Michelle. "If she went out to the shops for 10 minutes, it would easily turn into an hour. She had a fantastic sense of humour and was very mischievous as well."

Michelle was with her mother at the Beechtree Nursing Home, near Oldtown in north Co Dublin, on January 30th. "The day before she died. I was allowed in with the full Covid gear. It was very structured, very well organised."

Her mother’s breathing “was terrible. She didn’t recognise me immediately but when I spoke – and this is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life – when I spoke, she put her hand up to try to touch my face through the masks. That’s my last memory of my mam. That was huge for me. She has left such a huge gap in our lives. Everybody who loved my mam and knew her is absolutely devastated she is gone.”

The funeral was also strictly controlled. “Everything happened so fast, I was with her on the Saturday, she died on the Sunday, she was buried on the Tuesday. The impact of that hasn’t hit me yet and I know it’s coming and that it’s going to come like a tidal wave, but her funeral was full of love and it was respectful. It was the way my mam lived her life, full of love and respect for anybody she met. She did her absolute best for people who needed help.”


Marie Farrell (nee Deans) was born on the 29th of November, 1941, at Sandymount in Dublin, the oldest of four. She attended school at the local Lakelands Convent and, in 1957, the family moved to Finglas. There she joined An Óige and the Girl Guides, where she enjoyed cycling and walking.

After successfully completing her Intermediate Certificate she got a job as an office clerk at the Hammond Lane Foundry. Due to the marriage bar at the time, she had to give up the job when she married Eamonn Farrell in 1962. They had four children – Michelle, Caroline, the late Lisa, and Eamonn.

When her family were grown she went back to work outside the home in quality control at the Lab Group in Finglas Labs and later she worked in a similar job at Chivers Jams.

Marie received a citizenship award by Dublin City Council for her outstanding voluntary work in the community

She and Eamonn separated and she went to live at Merville Court in Finglas where she became very involved with voluntary work, helping out with the bingo, home help, meals on wheels and cooking, leading to her receiving a citizenship award by Dublin City Council for her outstanding voluntary work in the community.

Her Wednesday nights were enjoyed with Friends of the Elderly on Bolton Street and Sunday nights were spent at Bohemians social club in Dalymount where she met boyfriend Michael Ward in 2011. "She would come to the Ireland soccer internationals. She used to enjoy coming to the matches with myself, and the buzz and excitement," he said. "She liked to socialise. She was a very popular woman who liked meeting people, and dancing. She enjoyed life and had a great sense of fashion."

In December 2017 Marie was diagnosed with dementia and became a resident at the Beechtree Nursing Home in February 2018. She was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Friday, January 22nd and died on Sunday, January 31st. She is survived by Michelle, Caroline, Eamonn, nine grandchildren, and Michael. Her husband, Eamonn, died in 2017.

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry

Patsy McGarry is a contributor to The Irish Times