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Lay of the Land: The loving heart of Tomas O Ceallaigh

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The keen cyclist with strong rural roots in Co Roscommon also cherished a poem called The Fly by William Blake (pictured), so much so that one of his sisters read it at his memorial service

The keen cyclist with strong rural roots in Co Roscommon also cherished a poem called The Fly by William Blake (pictured), so much so that one of his sisters read it at his memorial service

The keen cyclist with strong rural roots in Co Roscommon also cherished a poem called The Fly by William Blake (pictured), so much so that one of his sisters read it at his memorial service

The supermarkets on the outskirts of this country town are full of cupid-themed cards and chocolate hearts, all claiming to speak the language of love. Maybe I noticed that none do so in our native tongue because this St Valentine's falls just a day over a calendar month since the passing of Tom Kelly, or Tomas O Ceallaigh, as the former RTE journalist and Midlands correspondent was more commonly known in recent years.

Though more than the language of love and the love of our language, and land, came together in this green living gaeilgeoir. Because while many say they would give their life for those they love, far fewer are prepared to donate their death for the benefit of complete strangers.

For Tomas is still giving, though he is gone from this world. Bequeathing his body to the UCD School of Medicine enables medical science to do vital research and train another generation of doctors so that others might not suffer as he did.