The late Brendan O'Brien
1931-2012 BRENDAN O'BRIEN of Cuil Didin Nursing Home and Cahill's Park, Tralee, passed away, just as he had lived his life, quietly and peacefully, on Thursday, September 13. Brendan, a most unassuming and gentle man, was one of Tralee's unsung heroes, as he had immersed himself in many community projects which benefited the town and its citizens.
From Community Games to the Festival of Kerry, Brendan was always willing to put his shoulder to the wheel. A sportsman of note, he played badminton to the highest level in county leagues and on the basketball front was one of the pioneers of the game in the county. He shot hoops with the FCA, the Warriors as well a representing Kerry on the national scene.
Brendan was also a successful greyhound owner, trainer and breeder, winning numerous races with the longtails over the years. A follower of Gaelic games, Brendan celebrated the many victories which the Kerins O'Rahillys and Kerry teams garnered.
Strand Road Community Games, of which he was a founding member, went from strength to strength, with Brendan at the helm. Cahill's Park, where he and his family lived in close-knit community, saw Brendan set up a residents association and was also involved in the Tidy Towns committee.
The Festival of Kerry has grown into one Ireland's premier events, thanks to Brendan and other committed members, who gave of their time freely to promote the event. The Festival Dome which is now the central focus for television viewers, had Brendan at the helm in the initial stages.
When the Tops of the Town concerts were in full swing, Strand Road and Traly Footwear were two of the shows which Brendan performed with. The much heralded rivalry between the different groups only strengthen the resolve of Brendan and others to do better the following year.
Brendan was also a man of great faith and was one of the first Eucharistic Ministers in St John's. He was actively involved at Holy Cross Dominican Church, being a member of the Third Order of St Dominic. At Christmas time he maintained the crib with pride and vigilance.
Aged 81, Brendan was born in 1931, son of Tom and Ellen O'Brien (nee Carey), of Keel, Castlemaine. Brendan was raised in the Mileheight, Farranfore, later in Abbey Street and Kevin Barrys Villas, Tralee. Educated at the CBS, Edward Street, following which he went to work for Traly Footwear as a fitter/ mechanic at the factory in the Basin.
Brendan married the love of his life, Rose Reidy and the family resided at Cahill's Park, for over 50 years. Their union was blessed with four children - Anthony, Helen, Paula and Martha. Brendan's passion and love for his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was evident for all to see, as they were the core unit of his life.
He was pre-deceased by his brothers Tommy, Eddie and Patie and sister Cathy Burrows.
Brendan is sadly missed by his loving wife Rose, son Anthony, daughters Helen, Paula and Martha, brothers Maurice and John, sister Mary, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sons-in-law John, Martin and Joe, daughter-in-law Elaine, relatives and many friends.
Removal took place from McElligott's Funeral Home to St John's Church on Friday, September 14. Requiem Mass was offered at 12 noon on Saturday followed by interment in New Rath Cemetery.