Community giant Maurice had an unending spirit of voluntary giving

Tallaght Community Council is deeply saddened to announce that one of its founder members, Maurice McConnell of Old Bawn, passed away peacefully after a short illness in Tallaght hospital surrounded by his family on Monday, August 28.

The Council offers deepest condolences to all his children, sons Damien, Ciaran, Donal, Fintan, Padraig and Tony, and daughter Aoife, his surviving siblings and his beloved grandchildren.

Maurice McConnell and family 31082017

Maurice was a gentle giant, who deeply believed in the power of giving – giving to others to create a positive community network and to improve society around him.

Originally from Drimnagh, his love for sports was played out early in Good Counsel.

Maurice had a compelling sense of duty, a deep value for creating a connected community and an unending spirit of voluntary giving which shaped his professional career with Dublin Fire Brigade, and also his family life and passions outside work in his new hometown of Tallaght.

Maurice moved to Tallaght with his wife Terry, who sadly passed away 13 years ago, when it was growing fast with lots of people but few amenities to sustain the fast-growing community. This era saw many community-minded residents step forward to form teams, clubs, societies and support groups to create the necessary foundation for the emerging city of Tallaght.

  Maurice played a key role in setting up community organisations and amenities in the ’70s and ’80s – Old Bawn Residents’ Association, Old Bawn Youth Club, Tallaght Community Council and Tallaght Person of the Year award.

Maurice was not only instrumental in the creation of many community groups, but sustained his commitment over decades, ensuring many survived until today, e.g. Tallaght Person of the Year Awards is now in its 34th year.

Jim Lawlor, Seskin View, former TCC chair and now Honorary President, was honoured by TCC last year with Maurice for volunteering for over 90 years combined in Tallaght between them.

Jim ranks Maurice as an unsung hero, he said; “Maurice was one of the unsung heroes of Tallaght, one of the quiet many who invested their time and energy into creating a community network in Tallaght, at a time when amenities were sadly missing – and which made a huge difference to a large number of families.

 “He was modest, never sought the personal limelight. Maurice was a straight talker,  and was very kind to people in his decades of living and volunteering in Tallaght.”

TCC is delighted to have formally honoured these community giants in 2016. A recognition that made both immensely proud.

Jim Lawlor, of New Bawn, who has known Maurice for 47 years, also remembers that Maurice came up with the idea in the 1980s of the Old Bawn Youth Club and the Old Bawn Residents’ Association.

The current TCC committee is saddened at the loss of a deeply engaged and committed member who gave an enormous amount in his five decades of volunteering.

The current TCC chair, Gerry Stockil said: “We are privileged to have known Maurice, shared time with him, and learned from his rich experience. We will honour his memory and commitment by driving these community events forward with the energy Maurice showed in spades for decades.”

Maurice is reposing in Tallaght village on Thursday (Aug 31) and being buried on Friday from his parish of St Dominic’s at 11am.

TCC will honour Maurice’s huge voluntary contribution to Tallaght by naming the Tallaght Person of the Year’s Youth Award, The Maurice McConnell Youth Award from this November, as a perpetual recognition to Maurice.

Tara De Buitlear, TCC PRO says of the award: “His huge contribution to Tallaght is so deserving of formal recognition and we are delighted to name an award in his honour.”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. Rath Dé air sna flaithis.

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