The recent death of John O’Neill removes from us one of the best known and highly esteemed Tipperarymen. He was a committed family many, outstanding colleague, loyal friend and was regarded with great affection as a man of honour and integrity.
I had the pleasure of working under John for 10 years in the Committee of Agriculture/Acot and in that time we had many a good laugh and never once a cross word. He took great pride in all that he did, was a man of vision, courage, ability and great good sense.
He served on many committees with thoroughness and dedication and chaired numerous meetings, working tirelessly and setting high standards to ensure that the clerical staff at local and national level were treated fairly, financially and otherwise. We were greatly indebted to John for all he achieved with sincerity and conviction on our behalf.
John exuded personality, humour and had an appetite for life in all its guises. He simply loved people irrespective of age, talent or temperament and those of us who knew him well speak with awe of his incredulous generosity, sense of devilment and human respect for all those with whom he came in contact.
His presence enlivened any gathering and he was held in high esteem by all who knew him well.
Above all - John was a family man - dedicated to the welfare of his dear wife Tess and their family - Padraig, Seamus, Terry, Grace and Maura and his adored grandchildren.
My abiding memory of John was at mid-day when the Angelus Bell rang out he never failed to silently recite the Angelus, yet I shamefully admit to being oblivious to the sound.
“John - I will be the poorer for your passing and will greatly miss our 40 years plus friendship and all the phone chats.”
My final thoughts turn to those most grievously left behind, particularly Tess. May you find comfort and consolation knowing that by now John O’Neill has probably everything re-organised in Heaven.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
- A grateful colleague/friend.