Tom O’Connell R.I.P.

Posted by JC on December 31, 2015

Tom O'Connell RIP 2015It is with heavy heart that we post the news of Tom O’Connell’s passing last night in hospital. Our thoughts go out to Mary, Joe & Patricia and kids: Aisling, Daniel, Tiernan & Aoife, Vicki and kids: Thomas & Luke, Mary & Grant and Ann & David. Tom was a wonderful man and will be missed by all the family and indeed the town and surrounds of Edenderry, Co. Offaly.

Funeral Arrangements:
Reposing in funeral home on Saturday 2nd January.
Removal on Sunday morning 3rd January for 12:00 noon mass in Edenderry.

We sometimes forget all of Tom’s achievements. I think it’s now time to put them all in one place – at least the known ones! No particular order but dates specified if known.

  • Former Director of Edenderry Swimming Pool
  • Founder Member of Edenderry Old I.R.A. Commemoration Committee
  • Life Member of Edenderry G.A.A. Club (played for both club and county!)
  • Captain of Offaly Golf Society (1983)
  • Captain of Edenderry Golf Club (1975)
  • President of Edenderry & District Lions Club (1989/1990)
  • Chairman of Grange Castle Restoration Committee
  • Chairman of Edenderry Business Association
  • Director of Offaly Tourist Council
  • Director of Bórd Na Móna
  • Started a family furniture business in J.K.L. Street, Edenderry (1959)
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Aidan O’Brien RIP

Posted by JC on December 20, 2015

It is with a profound sense of loss that we announce the passing of Aidan O’Brien on Tuesday morning.
He is sadly missed by the whole family. It is hard to convey the accomplishments of this great man but Shannon has done a magnificent job in this obituary.

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Aidan O’Brien
August 15, 1942 – December 15, 2015

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of a caring father and loving husband, Mr. Aidan O’Brien. To many, an icon, a veritable legend, fondly known as the Godfather of the Irish Community in Manitoba. Aidan passed away in his home on the morning of Tuesday, December 15, 2015.

Aidan is survived by his loving spouse of 20 years – Betty Lou Burke; his four children, Shannon (Wilma), Kerry (Stephanie), Anastasia and Erin (Brendan); three Grandchildren, Aidan Jr., Jesse and Julia. Also brothers, James (Dinah) and Paddy (Christine); sisters, Eileen (John), Anita (Michael), Siobhan (Brendan), Mary (Tom) and Catherine (Frank); Brother-in-law, Brian (Jacquie); Mother and Father-in-law, Margaret & Richard; Sister-in-law, Sharon (David); and many other relatives and friends in Ireland, throughout Canada and the United States. Aidan was predeceased by his loving wife of 28 years – Pauline; Father-in-law, Leslie; Mother-in-law, Rose; parents, Jeremiah and Anastasia; brother, Joe (Barbara) and sister Brid (Frank).

Aidan was a leading figure in the Winnipeg community, having served in many different capacities during a remarkable career, including: President & CEO, Manitoba Blue Cross; Superintendent of Pensions, Province of Manitoba; Founding President, Irish Association of Manitoba; Founding Artistic Director, Tara Players Theatre Company; Co-founder, Acting Irish International Theatre Festival; President of the Folk Arts Council; Chair, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation; President, Winnipeg Fury Soccer Club; Inductee into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame; Board Member, Manitoba Theatre Centre; Board member, Venture Manitoba; Board member, Winnipeg Police Commission and recipient of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. For the last three years Aidan was honoured to serve as the Honorary Irish Consul to the Province of Manitoba. Known as a keen golfer, Aidan, as a former President, Pine Ridge Golf Club, is recognized as one of the 100 most influential people in the club’s history. He was also an active philanthropist supporting many charitable community initiatives.

Beyond his service to the community of Manitoba as a whole, Aidan was a driving force in the Irish Community in particular. Aidan founded the Irish Association of Manitoba in 1972 and in so doing he brought together Irish immigrants of all religious, geographical and political backgrounds to form a family here in Canada. That Association still carries on strongly today guided by the same founding principles Aidan established in 1972.

There are neither words nor time to fully convey the virtual legendary status attained by Aidan O’Brien. Though known far and wide either directly or through reputation, even with all the accolades and titles, Aidan’s greatest accomplishment was how he touched and influenced so many different lives. His ability to effectively connect with people of all backgrounds and cultures generated both love and respect, while his ability to resolve conflicts and find partnerships between people placed him in a unique role in the fabric of the entire community. His leadership, friendship and infectious spirit will truly be missed by all.

Funeral mass for Aidan will be celebrated Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Ignatius Church, 255 Stafford Street, with viewing a half hour prior. There will be a reception held in the downstairs hall immediately after. In lieu of flowers the family has asked for donations to be made to St. Boniface Hospital Foundation.

Pallbearers will be: Brendan Carruthers, Aidan O’Rourke, Pat McDonnell, Tony McRedmond, Peter Roche, Joe Pare, Joe Cunningham and Ted MacMartin. Honorary Pallbearers are: Pat McAvoy, Ed Coutu, Kerry Bitner, Gerry Bessette, Colm Hayes, Joe Campbell, Pete Wheddon, Hugh Cummins, Sidney Gray.

If you wish to view a video of the funeral mass please click here. The video will open in a new window – please note that it is quite large and could take a lot of time to download on your PC/laptop depending on your broadband speed connection.