Rose Hegarty obituary: A life full of flowers and vibrant colour

Lives lost to Covid-19: Finglas native ‘loved a good debate at the dinner table’

Rose Hegarty (84) died in St Mary’s Hospital on April 27th.

Rose Hegarty (84) died in St Mary’s Hospital on April 27th.


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Rose Hegarty

It was the flowers in bloom Rose Hegarty was most looking forward to this coming summer; she was a true nature lover.

From Barnlodge, Finglas, north Dublin, she was “always full of life”, with a particular love for gardening, music and colourful clothes, says her niece Jane Carrigan.

Rose was raised by her aunt after her mother died when she was very young. In the 1960s she moved to England where she worked as a secretary. It was in London she met John, from Co Derry, who she would go on to marry, and the pair would move back to live in Ireland.

An organised person, she was one to never forget a birthday, and “always bought great presents”, Jane says.

The garden of her Barnlodge home was her “pride and joy”, and she had a lifelong love of nature and wildlife programmes and documentaries.

Her husband John died suddenly of a heart attack in his 40s. This had a big impact on Rose, “from that she knew the fragility of life,” her niece says.

Although she did not have children, Rose was very close to her nieces and nephews, and treated their children like grandchildren. There was also the Jack Russell “Bono”, her companion of 18 years.

She was a loyal Irish football supporter, Jack Charlton “could do no wrong”, Jane recalls. Rose could not bring herself to sit and watch the Republic of Ireland’s 1990 World Cup match against Romania such were her nerves. But when the game went to a penalty shootout she promised her nieces and nephews she would dye her hair green if Ireland won, and kept her word when they did.

“She loved a good debate at the dinner table” and keenly followed current affairs and politics, Jane says. Even later in life she was “quite exercised about Trump” to the point she considered travelling to protest the US president’s visit to Ireland at the age of 82, her niece says. She was also a big fan of pop music, Westlife and Niall Horan in particular.

In 2009, she moved into Anam Cara, an assisted living home in north Dublin. Last July, she was hospitalised with a serious kidney infection and after that moved to St Mary’s Hospital nursing home in Phoenix Park.

“She loved St Mary’s and it had given her a new lease on life,” her niece says. She had particularly enjoyed the home’s gardening and flower arranging activities. The window of her ground-floor room also gave her regular sight of the Phoenix Park deer.

Last month, she tested positive for coronavirus in the nursing home, and died aged 84 on April 27th.

Covid-19: Lives Lost