Des was a really good person and a person to be listened to

Tallaght resident Aidan Thomas this week writes in tribute to Des O'Neill who passed away.

Des me oul flower. We are all so sad to lose such a good person. Your family are role models in the way they minded both you and Peg who died some weeks ago. Both you and Peg are legends.

Des your life was one of helping others. I know because I was the recipient on many occasions.

Peg ONeill 1

The late Des O’Neill with his wife Peg who recently passed away

Imagine my surprise, when a patient in Tallaght Hospital, the nurse on duty came to me and told me the new patient that arrived opposite said he knew me. His name was Des O’Neill.

What a surprise and shock. I immediately went over and started chatting. We never discussed our health issues.

Des was totally blind. The following day Des led a discussion that even the nursing staff participated. It was Des in his element.

Des had very deep spiritual values. I observed him lying flat on his back eyes closed and praying. After two days Des returned home.

  Des it was a very humbling experience visiting you. Blind for five years you were never in bad form.

Your first question to me was to inquire about my wife Pauline who is a patient in Kiltipper.

You had a great devotion to Our Lady. I recall a visit with Brendan when you spoke about your devotion to Our Lady.

 I recall you saying “Our Lady is my friend and I say six Hail Mary’s to her every day, and she never lets me down”.

When you were able to attend Mass we still recall you praying at Our Lady’s shrine at the back of the Priory. It was the one time we never interrupted. It was obvious that those private prayers were very special in your spiritual life. It was your simple faith that made you what you were.

Des it was a privilege to work with you in the St VdeP Society. On many of the occasion I did visitation with you. I very soon learned who was the master, and who was the apprentice.

On visitation you took families issues to heart and did your very best to help. Many families in difficulties were in your prayers. Your visit was not the end of your concerns.

I recall one day Brendan brought you to Mass. On leaving I mentioned to Brendan the side doors were open as there was a funeral Mass at 11o’clock.  As Des/Brendan exited the side door Des realised Our Lady’s altar was on route.

He stopped, faced the shrine, and said a prayer. Both Brendan and I smiled.

Des this is just a short tribute. No book would do you justice. You also had strong opinions on planning decisions in Tallaght. You were also vocal on a fair and just society. 

You were a really very good person, and a person to be listened to. Your forty years as a member of the St. VdeP Society meant you were a person to be listened to.

Your death is a huge loss to your family. Your work in the St VdeP deserves an award. You are now united with Peg who died just a few weeks ago. It was a marriage of seventy years.

It was your great wish to be united. Both Des and Peg will never be forgotten in Tallaght.

Peg was a star in Lady Club projects. Both of you had an immense effect on our lives, and you will always be in our prayers

From all of us who had the pleasure of knowing you both.

 Aidan Thomas

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