Lives Lost to Covid-19: Michael Lynch was a loving husband who overcame many obstacles

Lynch lived through four heart attacks, cancer and the loss of his wife 20 years ago

Lives Lost: Michael Lynch from Cork, 1928-2021

Lives Lost: Michael Lynch from Cork, 1928-2021


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

Michael Lynch


Days short of his 93rd birthday, Michael Lynch’s family believed he had years of life to go before he contracted coronavirus. Here was a man who had lived through four heart attacks, cancer and the devastating loss of his wife Maureen two decades ago.

The couple met at the famous Mangan’s Clock on Cork’s St Patrick Street and later married in 1955. Maureen died in 2000.

“They were married for 45 years and he was never without my mother,” his daughter Breda said. “When my mother died we thought that was the end of him . . . [but] he never gave in.”

Although Michael had spent much of the latter end of his life living alone and taking care of himself, he eventually moved to Heather House nursing home in Cork.

“We really believe that if he didn’t get Covid he would have lasted another three or four years,” said Breda. “Because he was so well looked after we really believe he had more years in him. He loved it up there.”

In 1949, Michael moved to the United Kingdom and joined the British army but signed himself out a year later and returned home. After marrying Maureen, they relocated to London again until 1958. When he returned and joined the Irish Army, he was based in Galway and then at Spike Island in Cork.

Heart problems

After leaving the Army he began working in the Gamble Simms steelworks and he raised his family in Mayfield. In his late 40s, heart problems took hold and he was eventually forced to retire early.

“Dad was stubborn, very stubborn, very wilful,” said Breda. “That’s what got him through life, especially after my mother died.”

Michael is survived by his three children – Breda, Frances and Michael – as well as six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. As with so many families, the funeral was difficult due to the stringent coronavirus restrictions.

Breda noted that at least with a relatively small family, most were able to attend. Nevertheless, she said, it was lonely.

Michael’s grandson Jason commented on the inability to have an open coffin for one last goodbye. “A person who lives for so long and experienced what he experienced should not have to die in isolation, they should be celebrated and have family around them,” he said.

“We always joked that he would outlive us all as he had every obstacle thrown his way and always came back a stronger man.”

Covid-19: Lives Lost