Norman Galway obituary: ‘A quiet, honest and loyal gentleman’

Lives Lost to Covid-19: ‘If you were a friend, you were a friend for life’

Norman Galway: ‘If you were a friend, you were a friend for life.’

This article is one of a series about people who have died with coronavirus in Ireland and among the diaspora. Read more at If you would like a friend or family member included in the series, please email


"They say you can tell a man by his deeds," says Robert Galway of his late father, Norman, "but I'm not so sure. I think family, friends and neighbours are a surer way."

Born in Dublin in 1933 to Edward and Marjorie Galway, Norman was the youngest sibling to Eileen, Bobby and Teddy. He grew up on Carnew Street in Stoneybatter, close to the Pheonix Park.

Norman spent most of his working life driving around Ireland selling wool. He married Deirdre D’Arcy from Co Wicklow, and moved to Cork, where they raised a family of three boys – Richard, Peter and Robert.


Norman was a keen footballer in his youth. He also enjoyed caravan rallying and fishing. “He could stand for hours on a beach, pier, rocky outcrop or stormwall in all weather in the hope of catching a fish or two,” his son Robert says. “There was never any shortage of fish in the house.” In his later years, Norman took up bowling.

In 1979, Norman and Deirdre moved back to Dublin to start a new chapter of their lives. Deirdre never felt at home there, so they moved to Picardy in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow in the early 1990s, near to where Deirdre had grown up. Deirdre developed Alzheimer's, and died in 2002. Soon after her death, Norman moved to Arklow town, where he spent many years helping the local Alzheimer's society.

“He was a quiet, honest and loyal gentleman,” Robert says. “It’s all I have ever heard from his friends. He kept himself to himself, and if you were a friend, you were a friend for life.”

Norman delighted in his four grandchildren, Jack and Molly in Florida and Isabella and Nathalie in Stockholm. He travelled to visit them often, but unfortunately he never got to meet his great grandson Oliver in Florida.

Norman moved into the Asgard Lodge nursing home in Arklow in early February. He died on Friday, April 10th, after just eight weeks in the nursing home.

“He was a loving husband, a tough but fair dad who always provided for us, a great grandad and a true friend to the last day,” Robert says. “I think many of us are sad that we couldn’t hold Norman’s hand as he passed, or attend his funeral. That we couldn’t be there for him when he needed us the most.”

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine