Monday 23 September 2019

Former Dublin County Board chairman John Bailey 'devoted his life to his family and the GAA', funeral hears

The coffin of John Bailey is shouldered from the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey. Pic:Mark Condren
The coffin of John Bailey is shouldered from the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey. Pic:Mark Condren
Dublin footballer Michael Fitzsimons at the funeral mass of John Bailey in the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey. Pic:Mark Condren 12.7.2019
Former Dublin GAA chairman John Bailey
Members of the Artane Band at the removal of John Bailey in Dublin last night

Alan O'Keeffe

Fine Gael TD Maria Bailey delivered a deeply moving tribute to her father John at his funeral in his native Dalkey in County Dublin today.

Her father, who was re-elected recently as a Fine Gael councillor to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for a fourth time, was "a man of the people with the common touch" who loved and protected his family, she said.

He had passed on to his family his strong values of compassion, integrity, honesty, hard work and leadership, she said.

Speaking to the overflowing congregation at the Church of the Assumption, she said he was always encouraging and supportive and raised his five daughters to be strong, independent women.

The former chairman of Dublin GAA was wonderful in training his grandchildren in fun filled sessions in the backgarden of the family home, she said.

Cllr Bailey, who was 74, died of the effects of Motor Neuron Disease on Tuesday.

"When Dad received his diagnosis, our world changed forever," she said.

"Motor Neuron Disease is the cruelest disease as it took away his power of speech...But he found new ways to communicate with us," she said.

Four priests concelebrated his Requiem Mass, including his nephew, Fr Michael Cahill, parish priest of Johnstown in Navan.

Chief celebrant Monsignor Eoin Thynne said: "We thank God for the blessings He gave him in this life: his sense of fun and devilment; his dedication to his family, his contribution to politics and his love and passion for the GAA...

"I know John wouldn't want us to be morbid or sorrowful because he was a great character, a joker who loved the craic...

"There are so many who will miss him and none greater than his wife of 48 years Angela, his daughters Suzanne, Elaine, Maria, Joanna and Allison and his 13 grandchildren.

"John was someone who wholeheartedly engaged with passion, with purpose and with courage... He was one of those who gives politics a good name, because his concern for others always took precedence over his own needs.... He was a wonderful example of old world values, who devoted his life to his family and the GAA. His spiritual home was Cuala GAA Club," said Mons Thynne.

Among the attendance were Commdt Caroline Burke, aide de camp to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, government ministers Josepha Madigan, Regina Doherty and Mary Mitchell O'Connor, former Ceann Comhairle of the Dail Sean Barrett, MEPs Frances FitzGerald and Barry Andrews, Cllr Shay Brennan, Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, Philomena Poole, chief executive of the council, John Costello, chief executive of Dublin GAA, Padraig Duffy, former Director General of the GAA, chairman of Cuala GAA club Damian McKeown, Dublin football manager Jim Gavin, and Dublin players Con O'Callaghan and Michael Fitzsimons.

Burial took place at Deansgrange Cemetery.

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