Tuesday 16 January 2018

Brendan was a born leader on and off the pitch

The late Brendan Maher
The late Brendan Maher

The communities of Rathnure, Oylegate and Ballyboden in County Dublin were deeply saddened at the recent passing of Brendan Maher at his Rathnure home on Thursday, August 4, following an illness.

Brendan will be sadly missed by his wife Mary Barron; family Brian, David, Denis and Anne; sisters Anne O'Connor, Maudie and brother Alan; sister-in-laws; brother-in-laws; nieces; nephews; uncles; aunts; cousins; extended family and wide circle of friends.

Brendan (56) originally hailed from Oylegate but had been living in Rathnure since 1998 when he returned from Dublin to take up the role of managing director and vice president with American multinational organisation, Sun Life Financial in Waterford. There, he spearheaded the e stablishment of the company and its subsequent growth to over 450 employees.

Following almost nine years in this role Brendan then took up a similar position with UNUM, another US multinational company, when it decided to locate its Irish base in Carlow in 2009.

Most recently, he was manager of the Solas Cancer Support Centre in Waterford. His earlier career had brought him to Dublin where he worked with Post & Telegraphs and An Post. He then went on to become part of the team which set up The National Lottery and was the organisations overall IT Manager from 1996 to 1998.

Brendan was heavily involved in sport throughout his life and hurling in particular was his great love. He was a skilful player and hurled with Wexford at Under 21 level while playing his club hurling firstly with Oylegate Glenbrien before moving to play with Ballyboden St Endas in Dublin.

Once his playing career came to an end he became involved in coaching and management at underage and senior levels and he was manager of the Rathnure senior hurling team in their last appearance in a senior championship decider at Wexford Park in 2011. One of Brendan's proudest achievements was the development of the Martin Codd Indoor Arena which opened in 2009 and in which he played a very central role.

Brendan was a noted singer and during his time in Rathnure he loved to participate in church music. He thoroughly enjoyed the monthly Friday night get together of story-telling, music and song in Conran's. He often performed in local shows and events and became synonymous with his rendition of the great Tom William's song 'Cuchulainns Son'. The music for Brendan's funeral was co-ordinated by his good friends Martin Codd and Eddie Doyle. Brendan was a man of great faith and bore his illness with great courage, dignity and strength. He remained very thankful for the superb care and support he received particularly from his close family members, the County Wexford Hospice Homecare team and the staff of St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

Brendan's funeral Mass took place in St. Anne's Church in Rathnure on Sunday morning, August 7, followed by burial in the nearby cemetery. It was very fitting that such a huge number of mourners gathered to pay their final respects to him there and at his home over the previous two days. A fitting guard of honour was also provided by members of Rathnure and Oylegate Glenbrien GAA clubs. A family member said: 'We would like to thank everybody who helped us in so many ways during Brendan's funeral. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the work and kindness of the local ladies committee and Rathnure GAA club. From catering to car parking and traffic control, everything was organised so well. Huge numbers of people took the time to travel from near and far to pay their respects to Brendan and to sympathise with us. We greatly appreciated their messages of support, their memories of Brendan and the kind words they shared with us about him. We would also like to thank Father Brian Broaders for all of his support not just during Brendan's funeral but throughout his illness.'

Brendan was a loving husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. His gentle, calm, kind and thoughtful presence will be missed by all who knew him.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Enniscorthy Guardian

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