Council engineer who left indelible mark on Meath
OBITUARY: Oliver Perkins, Trim
The funeral took place in Trim on Monday of last week of Oliver Perkins, a long serving retired Meath County Council engineer, who died at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, after a short illness.
Oliver Perkins had been a county engineer, Trim town and area manager, and director of services for infrastructure during an almost two-decade career with the local authority, from which he retired in 2005.
The keen sportsman was a native of Drumbane, near Upperchurch in Co Tipperary, and joined Meath County Council in 1987.
He had attended CBS Thurles and University College, Dublin, where he studied engineering, and after his graduation, worked with Dublin and Laois County Councils before coming to Meath, where he and his wife Kathleen set up home and were parents to two sons, Liam and Conor. Kathleen became deputy principal of St Michael’s National School, Trim.
As a young hurler, he had played for Tipperary, and also won a number of Fitzgibbon Cup medals for colleges hurling. He was a keen rugby player and coached Portlaoise to a Towns Cup victory during his time there. In Trim, he became the first captain of the Knightsbrook Golf Club, and a president, and in latter years, enjoyed bowling with Trim Outdoors Bowls Club. A swimmer, he gave instruction in life-saving. And he loved nothing more than a GAA post-match analysis - or a song - in Marcie Regan’s of Newtown, his local hostelry.
With Meath County Council, he was responsible for many significant community and infrastructure projects across the county during his tenure. When he retired in 2005, tributes were paid to his "energy, drive and enthusiasm" and his "futuristic outlook".
Mr Perkins had said it had been a great honour to work in Meath, and it gave him great pleasure to be at the cutting edge in the development of the county. His own granduncle, the late Martin 0’Dwyer, Clonee, had been chairman of the council in 1925 and his father had been a county councillor in his native Co Tipperary. One of his proudest achievements was the Mary McAleese Boyne Valley Bridge outside Drogheda, a photograph of which was brought as a symbol at his Funeral Mass on Monday.
Fr Warren Collier, CC, Trim, spoke of his integrity, dedication and hard work, and of his love for the heritage which surrounded him at Echo Gate in Trim. He spoke too of his love and pride in his family.
Oliver Perkins and Kathleen Doran were married in July 1976, after meeting at Kathleen’s brother’s ordination the previous year.
Predeceased by his brothers, Conor, Fr Jimmy, Br Joseph, Willie, John, Christy and Michael, and sisters Annie and Mary, Oliver is survived by Kathleen; sons, Liam (Perth) and Conor; grandchildren, Keely, Ruby, Macy and Kyson; sister, Bridget; daughters-in-law, Lauren and Melissa; brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family and many friends.
Fr Collier was assisted by Fr Tony Ryan of Tipperary at the funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Church, Trim, and burial followed in St Loman’s Cemetery. Among those taking part in the prayers were Oliver’s neighbour and former council colleague, Malachi Jenkins, and former colleagues were amongst those providing a guard of honour, along with Trim Bowls Club and Knightsbrook Golf Club members.
Jackie Maguire, the chief executive officer of Meath County Council, said that Oliver Perkins was “a true gentleman and committed public servant who was always willing to give of his time and knowledge to help in any way that would benefit others."