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Funeral of Rosslare man Oisín Kelly (32) filled with tears, applause and tributes – ‘Think of me every now and again’


The late Oisín Kelly.

The late Oisín Kelly.

Oisín with his parents Teresa and Kieran at his graduation.

Oisín with his parents Teresa and Kieran at his graduation.

Oisín with a group of friends.

Oisín with a group of friends.

Oisín pictured with friends Caolan Barron and Conor O' Neill.

Oisín pictured with friends Caolan Barron and Conor O' Neill.

With his mother Teresa.

With his mother Teresa.


The late Oisín Kelly.


Rosslare Strand man Oisín Colm Kelly (32) who died recently loved appearing on stage and he was given one last round of applause by family and friends as emotional tributes were paid and tears flowed at his funeral Mass in the seaside village where he grew up.

Hundreds of people were in attendance and they heard that shortly before he passed away, his friend Dallan Shovlin asked him he if had anything to say, for the record.

True to his ever-caring nature, Oisín replied: “I want to just say thank you. To everyone. I hope everyone is alright. I want everyone to live their lives to their best. Think of me every now and again. Everything we all did together, be it bad, be it good, it made me happy in the end. It was good, thank you for making it good.”

Oisín who worked in the television and film industry in Belfast, died at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, UK, on June 24 arising from complications following treatment for a medical condition. An only child, he is survived by his heartbroken parents Kieran and Teresa and his aunts, uncles, cousins, and many loving friends.

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In an emotional eulogy during his funeral Mass in St Brigid’s Church Dallan said he sat down with Oisín towards the end of his journey and recorded what he described as a difficult but cathartic conversation.

He asked him Desert Island Disc-style queries about his favourite things in life, learning, among other discoveries, that his favourite noise was that of a car engine, and finished with the question of what he would like to hear God say when he reached the pearly gates.

Oisín said: “I want to hear God say that they are all going to be OK, to tell me they’ll be OK.”

 “Well Oisín, I’m afraid we aren’t OK today, and maybe not for a long time. But for you, eventually, we will be," said Dallan, who became a close friend of Oisín when they were both students in DCU.

Oisín attended Rosslare National School and St Peter’s College before going to DCU to study for a degree in Computer Sciences, followed by a Masters in Multimedia.

He had a love of drama fostered during weekly drama classes in the Carmel Corish Wallace School of Performing Arts and later became centrally involved in the Drama Society in DCU – so much so that anyone would have been forgiven for thinking he was studying for a PhD in performance, according to another college friend, Lisa Keegan, who also spoke at the funeral Mass.

“From his incredible and often hilariously accurate impressions, to his committed and moving performances on stage, Oisin was a born performer. There were so many wonderful performances over the years – 12 Angry Men, Rent and his brief but hilarious foray into stand-up comedy at Whelan’s come to mind.

"But I think one performance above all captures the courageous spirit of our lovely friend. One February evening in 2012, Oisin asked himself ‘If you had one shot or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it, or just let it slip?’ His answer, was to shave and bleach his hair in the men’s bathrooms of the student union, don a wife beater vest and hoodie and proceed to absolutely blow the minds of all in attendance at the Stars in Their Eyes competition with his word perfect rendition of Lose Yourself. It may have been an Eminem song, but it was Oisin Kelly’s performance. He won, of course.”

She said Oisín’s wit could be as dry as the Sahara Desert. His mother shared the following story with his friends recently – he was visiting his Auntie Mary in Ballycullane and his Uncle Paddy gave him a box of crisps and sweets to take back to Belfast. Two weeks later, Paddy received a hand-written note in the post. Ever the gentleman, Oisín had written: “Thanks Paddy, for the crisps, and the out-of-date sweets.”

She spoke about his passion for the Titanic, inspired by reading books as a child with his beloved Nanny, and how his dad’s work on the ferry also influenced his nautical interests.

“Kieran, we also heard about how you would walk Oisin to school every day, the same school you yourself attended, a beautiful image to cherish. Teresa, anyone who has felt the gentle, kind and generous spirit of Oisin can see it reflected in you. And anyone who has ever marvelled at Oisin’s ironing skills need look no further than the influence of his beloved mam. He loved you so much.”

In another tribute, his  friend Gráinne Ní Chuinn said Oisín made people feel that they were seen, heard and loved. He listened with a keen ear and remembered the smallest details.

"Once you were loved by Oisín, you knew that if you needed him, he would be there for you. He showed up. He showed up even when it wasn’t easy for him. He showed up to help his friends move house. He showed up if you were going through a tough time. He showed up in dad-mode if you were trying to buy a car and had no idea what you were doing. He showed up because he was your friend, because he loved you and because he said he would.

"Oisín has left an imprint on the hearts of so many people, so many of whom are here today. A phrase was said earlier in the week – “hearts broken, hearts full”. And this goes some way towards putting into words the loss we feel, because, yes, our hearts are completely broken at the incomprehensible loss of someone who cannot be replaced.

“But our hearts are also so full. Full of cherished memories and real, true, powerful love. As long as we are here, Ois will also be here. He is a part of us now, and he always will be”, said Gráinne.

In recent years, Oisín lived and worked in Belfast. He was a trainee assistant director with a TV production company in the city and worked as crowd assistant director on the hit television series Game of Thrones. He previously worked in Windmill studios in Dublin.

Following his death, a group of his friends waited at Belfast Port to welcome home his remains as they arrived into Ireland by ferry from the UK en route to Rosslare .

Uniformed staff of Kelly’s Hotel, where his mother Teresa has worked for many years, formed a guard of honour along the road towards St Brigid’s Church during his funeral.

A video and photo montage of Oisín at various stages of his life was played at the private cremation ceremony in Mount St Jerome, Dublin.

Oisín's family and friends would like to thank the team at the ICC Unit in Freeman Hospital, Newcastle for taking amazing care of Oisín and for also being a support to them.