Wexford People

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The late Tom O'Grady was a guiding light to all his family


The late Tom O'Grady.

The late Tom O'Grady.

The late Tom O'Grady.

The sad and sudden death of Thomas (Tom) O'Grady, Mountain View, Kilcorral, Castlebridge, at the age of 72, occurred Friday, May 6, in Wexford General Hospital.

Tom was a devoted and loving husband to Helen for 49 years, and an irreplaceable mentor and guiding light to his son Michael, daughter-in-law Catriona, and grandchildren Jordan and Ethan.

He originally hailed from 11 Parnell Street, in Wexford. The son of Thomas and Bridie O'Grady, brother to Anne and Liam.

He was married in 1967 to Helen Barnes and a few years later they made a home at 51 Lower John Street, in Wexford town, where they spent many happy times.

He loved being part of the Barnes family, with whom he spent many a day golfing, playing cards and socialising.

Tom followed in his father's footsteps, and entered into the printing trade, a family tradition.

Tom trained in John English and Co. Publishers, under the steady hand of Peter Donnelly, until their closure 21 years later. Other places followed such as The Echo, Enniscorthy, where he printed the newspaper, in Donegan Print, The Print Shop, ending up in Impression Print, from which he retired from last August.

In his career he became a Master Printer, a job he loved, printing amazing works for The Wexford Opera Festival, and many others.

His printing career instilled a love of literature and cryptic crosswords, and he had recently been overheard berating a dictionary for not having the appropriate word he needed, which left a puzzle unsolved, to his dismay.

He loved playing chess, watching snooker, golf, and Formula 1, and once visited Italy with his son to see Schuey in action, a treasured memory. More recently he enjoyed a holiday in Fuerteventura, and had planned on returning in September.

In 2005, Helen and Tom both bought a site outside of Castlebridge with their son and daughter-in-law, and commenced construction of a new home, which his brother-in-law John Harpur built.

Dubious at first, Tom immediately took to the peaceful and relaxing country life, a place he never wanted to leave. He loved living beside his grandchildren, popping over to see their latest achievement, sit and watch them play, or bring over Kinder Eggs, any excuse would suffice.

He was actively involved in his grandchildren's life, from school runs, feeding the local horse, to teaching astronomy, and of course, he doted over them. One of his favourite yearly events was Grandparents Day, at Screen National School, where his grandchildren would showcase their art and schoolwork. He also loved the Christmas Plays, and repeatedly enjoyed watching them on DVD at home.

He was a jovial, and unassuming man, who never hogged the limelight, unless he was telling one of his many stories. He had a positive outlook, which he instilled on others, and loved a good joke. His laugh was infectious, and his smile welcoming. He never liked change, but once it became necessary, he embraced it wholeheartedly.

Happily, his last few hours were spent at home with his family, playing with his grandchildren, enjoying a meal and relaxing in his favourite chair.

He now can be visited in Crosstown, where he is buried with his mother and father, and with many old friends who have passed before him.

His is a great loss to all his family, his nieces and nephews, his friends and neighbours. Their help in this sad time is greatly appreciated by the O'Grady family.

The family would also like to thank the outstanding staff at Wexford hospital, A&E and ICU departments. Their care and kindness helped more than they could imagine, and is hugely appreciated. Their help will remain a constant comfort.

Wexford People