John O'Brien Memorial
John O'Brien - An Appreciation
By Brendan McGlynn
The Community was saddened at the news of the death of John O’Brien, Clonard Grove, which occurred at St Vincent’s Private Nursing Home, Elm Park, on Saturday the 8th of June 2002. Born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in October 1937, John was an accountant by profession. He was employed for a time by Ericsson, and subsequently by Johnsons Brother in Ballymount Walkinstown, until he retired in 1999.
John truly one of nature’s gentlemen. His quiet pleasant manner and ready smile endeared him to all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him. He was above all else an outstanding family man. While his wife Brenda and his three sons John, Tony and David will miss him sorely, he has left them many very pleasant memories to treasure.
John had a great love of sport, particularly hurling and Gaelic football. He rarely missed attending a game when one or more of his sons were playing, and he could always be relied on to provide transport. It gave him great pleasure when his youngest son, the late Barry, was selected on the Dublin under 21 and senior hurling panels this year.
It was only last September that John was asked to serve on the Executive Committee of Naomh Olaf GAA Club, as treasurer. As usual he was willing to oblige. It was a particularly busy time in the club, as the development draw was in progress. John carried out his function quietly and efficiently, creating a lasting impression in a relatively short period of time.
When I visited John in hospital five days before his death, the only concern that he expressed was that I would thank on his behalf all those who had visited him, as well as the many people who had sent cards and messages of goodwill to himself and his family. I think that this speaks volumes about the sort of man John was, always placing the needs of others before his own.
There was a large and representative attendance at the removal of John’s remains from his home to the Church of the Ascension of the Lord, Balally, on Monday the 10th of June. Naomh Olaf GAA Club provided a guard of honour, as John’s four sons, carried the coffin draped in the Naomh Olaf flag, into the church. Father Brian Edwards officiated. Following the removal the O’Brien family invited everyone present to Naomh Olaf GAA Club for refreshments.
The funeral mass was celebrated by Father Brian Edwards assisted by Father Charles Archer, of the Salesian College, Celbridge, where John’s brother Jim had taught until he retired recently. John’s wife Brenda read the first reading, while his brother Jim read the second reading. His four sons said the prayers of the faithful. Father Edwards preached a most appropriate homely. The offertory gifts included a family photograph, a hurley and the jersey of John’s beloved county Wexford. The singing of the adult choir was much appreciated. Following the ceremony the remains was taken to Mount Jerome Cemetery for creamation.The O’Brien family bore their grief with great courage and dignity that was matched only by the manner in which John had accepted his illness and death.