The death has occurred on Friday, September 20, of Bert Van Dommelen, aged 62, late of Slievenamon and Clonacody.
Bert, affectionately know locally as ‘The Dutchman’, was very much loved by his adopted community here in Fethard and Cloneen, where both he and his wife Janneke were actively involved for the past 15 years.
Bert and Janneke came to Fethard from the Netherlands in September 1998 and purchased a beautiful cottage on the slopes of Slievenamon called ‘Wishy’s Tiegh’, not far from Killusty. It was from here that they travelled back and forth to Holland where Bert worked as a journalist up to 2001. After moving permanently to ‘Wishy’s Tiegh’, both Bert and Janneke decided to open ‘Bert’s Bistro’ at Lonergan’s Bar on April 4, 2002.
Bert and Janneke’s love of music came to the fore in these years when they joined local musicians for sessions and also gave their free time generously to entertain our local senior citizens at the Fethard & District Day Care Centre. Bert’s ability to play the classical guitar was outstanding and it wasn’t long before he also mastered the task of playing Irish traditional music. In later years both were very much involved in the Cloneen Church Choir and the Slievenamon Musical Society.
In 2007 Bert returned to design work and back to freelance journalism from February 2009 to the onset of his illness early last year.
Bert’s funeral Mass takes place at 7.30pm in the Church of Our Lady of the Nativity, Cloneen, on this Thursday, September 26, 2013. Cremation in Cork on Friday. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.