Recent deaths 7-11-09

Story by Tom Kelly

Wednesday, 4th November, 2009 10:40am

His former hurling colleagues from the great Wexford hurling teams of the 1950s were among those who provided guards of honour at the funeral of Mr Bobby Donovan in Kiltale on Friday last.

The well-known Kiltale man passed away suddenly on Tuesday morning of last week, having earlier attended Mass in the local church. He took ill at the church and later passed away at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, aged 82 years.

Originally from Newbawn, Wexford, deceased worked at An Foras Taluntais, Johnstown Castle, transferring to Co Meath in 1959 to help establish the Beef Research Centre at Grange, Dunsany, now known as Teagasc.

Early last year, Mr Donovan was the subject of a testimonial dinner by Scurlogstown Olympiad, honouring him for his community and sporting activities.

His father, Martin Donovan was a well-known figure in Ireland's War of Independence, and in an attack on New Ross military barracks, was shot and seriously wounded. It was presumed that he had died and the newspapers of the day read: "Newtown Man Dies in Gun Attack". He survived, however, and later married Mary St Leger.

In Wexford, Bobby Donovan played junior hurling and football for his native Wexford in the one year, 1954, and played in the All Ireland Hurling Final against Cork, alongside the Rackard brothers. Following his arrival in Meath he was prominently associated with the GAA here.

In later years, Mr Donovan was probably best known for his involvement in Irish traditional music and he helped found the first branch of Comhaltas in Trim in 1968, serving in many positions on the Board since then. He was to be found playing flute, fiddle or tin whistle at traditional sessions throughout the county, including in the weekly session in Dunsany and Moynalvey.

In 1969, he made a memorable appearance at Scurlogstown Olympiad's pageant, riding bareback on a black pony in a re-enactment of the Rathcore evictions.

Paying tribute to Bobby Donovan in a graveside oration last week was Dr Aidan Conway, a former director of Teagasc Grange. Dr Conway and Mr Donovan were lifelong friends since their days at St Peter's College in Wexford, and they both began their careers at An Foras Taluntais, Johnstown Castle, transferring to Grange in 1959. Members of Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann provided music at the removal and funeral, as did Kiltale Church Choir. Paddy Allen gave a rendition of 'Boolavogue' at the graveside.

The funeral Mass was conducted by Fr David Brennan, CC, assisted by Fr David Cahill and Fr Tom Kenny, Salesians, of Warrenstown College. Burial followed in Kiltale Cemetery.

Mr Donovan is survived by his wife, Nellie, who is Church sacristan in Kiltale; family, Harry, Eamon, Betty, Mary, Siobhan and Nora, in-laws, grandchildren, relatives, neighbours and friends.


Josie Corcoran, Trim

Mrs Johanna (Josie) Corcoran, Newhaggard, Trim, passed away on 12th September last at the home of her daughter, Carmel O'Neill, at Moyglare, Maynooth, following a long and brave battle with illness.

Mrs Corcoran was born in 1928, the youngest of five children, to Bridget and James O'Connell in Cill Rialaig, outside Cahirciveen, Co Kerry. She grew up in the family holding on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and the original family stone cottage is now one of the Cill Rialaig Artists' Retreat cottages.

In 1942, her family moved to a Land Commission holding in Newhaggard, Trim. Here, deceased did local service work until she travelled to England in her teens to join her brother, Dan and worked there before returning to Ireland in 1949.

She married Patrick Corcoran in a double wedding, with Mary and Jimmy Baily, Rath Cairn, in St Patrick's Church, Trim, in April 1953. The Corcorans farmed in Newhaggard and over the years built up a significant holding. Paddy Corcoran was a well-known cattle dealer who travelled the roads of Meath selling young stock bought at fairs in Kerry.

Mrs Corcoran was housewife, mother, farmer, and a dedicated citizen of the local community respected and loved far and wide. She had all the skills of a generation brought up in hard times but with an unparalleled generosity and optimism for life. Deceased gave generously to her children, her extended family, and later to her grandchildren. Throughout her life, as during her illness, she never complained and will always be remembered for her courage.

Mrs Corcoran was predeceased by brothers John and Dan, and sister Mary. She is survived by family, John Joe, Carmel, Margaret, Patrick, and Brendan; brother, Jimmy, Trim; grandchildren; extended family and many friends in the community. She was laid to rest alongside her husband, Paddy, in St Loman's Cemetery, Newhaggard Road, following funeral Mass in St Patrick's Church, Trim.


Arthur O'Connor,

Dunboyne & Navan

The death occurred on 10th October last of Mr Arthur (Archie) O'Connor, of Dunboyne, and formerly of Navan. Aged 77, he died peacefully at his residence. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Betty); family, Caroline, Brian, Niall and Cathal; grandchildren, brothers, Sean, Thomas; sisters, Maureen, Colette; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

He was predeceased by a sister, Rosaleen.

The funeral took place from the Church of the Assumption, Batterstown, to Batterstown Cemetery.


James Crocock, Skryne & Beauparc

The Fair Green Market in Navan lost one of its familiar faces recently with the passing of Mr James (Jimmy) Crocock, Newtown, Beauparc, and formerly of Skryne, who ran a popular flower and bedding plants stall at the market. Aged 88, Mr Crocock passed away after a short illness, at Our Lady's Hospital, Navan.

Mr Crocock had three decades of service at the Oldbridge Estate, Drogheda, initially as head gardener, and then as head steward. He also built up the successful garden and flower business, and his son Liam along with Martin Dolan from Skryne have been regular fixtures with him on the Fair Green.

Deceased was a regular visitor to Lourdes with the Meath Diocesan Pilgrimage and worked as a helper with the less mobile there. This year, he headed the parade in Lourdes as one of the longest serving members of the diocesan group. He was a lifelong Pioneer Association member and was also involved with the finance committee and numerous parish projects in Skryne and Rathfeigh. He was a keen follower of Skryne and Meath GAA.

Mr Crocock was predeceased by his first wife, Bridget; and is survived by his wife, Rose (Fitzpatrick); son, Liam, brother, sisters, relatives and many friends. The funeral took place from Ros na Ri Church to Knockcommon Cemetery.


David McDowell, Kilmainhamwood

The regretted death occurred on 16th October last at his residence of Mr David (Davie) McDowell, Altmush, Kilmainhamwood, Kells, aged 72.

The retired farmer was eldest son of the late Dudley and Ellen McDowell, Boynagh, Kilmainhamwood, and had spent many years in Manchester and Wales in the construction industry before returning to Ireland with his family in 1974.

Deceased took great pride in family life. His passion in sport was attending all forms of race meetings throughout Ireland, particularly point-to-point meetings.

He was predeceased by his sister, Rachel Lynch, and brothers-in-law, Michael Connelly and Teddy McEvoy.

Mr McDowell is survived by his wife, Ann; sons, Dudley and David; grandsons, David, Bryan, Stephen, Dean, Jamie; great grandson, Charlie; brother, Tommy; sisters, Vinia, Peggy, Maura, Monica, Kathleen, Teresa and Geraldine; sisters-in-law, Eileen, Carrie and Grace; brothers-in-law, Tom Fitzpatrick, Peter Loughrey, Johnnie Monaghan, PJ Lynch and Mick Brighton, nieces, nephews, cousins, Godchildren, extended family, neighbours and many friends.

The funeral took place from the Sacred Heart Church, Kilmainhamwood, to the adjoining cemetery. A months memory Mass will be celebrated on Friday 27th November at 8pm in the Sacred Heart Church.


Jeffrey Davis, Navan

The burial of ashes of the late Mr Jeffrey Hart Davis, Ferndale, Navan, will take place in Kilmessan Cemetery on Saturday next. Mr Davis celebrated his 100th birthday in November 2007 and passed away in July, at St Joseph's Hospital, Trim.

Mr Davis, who was due to celebrate his 102nd birthday on the 26th November next, came to Ireland with his wife, Nancy Darcy, formerly Doyle, of Balsoon, Bective, and they lived at Balsoon before moving to Ferndale.

Deceased was a very active and sprightly centenarian who only became ill over the past year. A native of London, he worked as a designer in the motor trade in Canada and South Africa.

In addition to Nancy, he is survived by his son, Jeffrey, Vancouver; and daughter, Charmin, Glanfield, England, and her family.

The burial of his ashes will take place in Kilmessan at 3pm on Saturday 7th November.


William McGrath, Duleek & Navan

Mr William McGrath, Garballagh, Duleek, who passed away peacefully on 9th October last, was the youngest son of the late Jack and Anne McGrath, Farganstown, Navan. He passed away at Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown, aged 73.

Mr McGrath had a great love of racing and travelled to Cheltenham every year, where he enjoyed meeting all the old friends he made while working in England. He was also an ardent follower of the Meath GAA team.

Deceased will be fondly remembered as a good friend and neighbour. He is survived by his special daughter, Vera and her mother, Kyra; brothers, Jim and Jack; sisters, Phie and Angela; and other relatives.

The funeral took place from Johnstown Church to St Mary's Cemetery, Navan.