Many gathered on Ballinamuddagh, near Bray Head early in December for the scattering of the ashes of Bernard Costello, following his sudden death in Spain.
A well-known local teacher, businessman and musician, his life and his music were celebrated by his family and friends afterwards in the Harbour Bar.
A talented guitarist and songwriter, Bernard was born in Raheny and graduated in commerce from UCD. He then worked for ten years in Tottenham, London. He taught there and in Kilkenny, then moved to Bray as a teacher of business at the opening of St. Kilian’s Community School in Ballywaltrim. He retired in 1986 and, with his wife Olive, a choral singer and businesswoman who predeceased him in 2018, set up a jewellery business in Dun Laoghaire, which later expanded to shops in Cornelscourt and Bray. The jewellery business he set up is now known as Arcade Jewellers off Main Street.
He had also written songs such as ‘Banker’s Blues’, about his cheque for Amnesty International that his bank manager almost bounced; ‘The Late-Night World Service International Bad News Blues’ and ‘How Far is Kandahar’, a musical polemic against George W. Bush and the invasion of Afghanistan. One of his best-loved songs, ‘Irish Summertime Blues’, was written after a particularly wet Bray summer’.
In 1989, he took his family in a Toyota van from Ireland through France, Germany and much of Eastern Europe at a time when the USSR was collapsing. He wintered in Crete, then returned through France where he enrolled two of his children in a local school for three months.
Retiring from business, he took to the water in a 22-foot cruiser with Bray Sailing Club, and sailed in the Irish Sea and later in the Mediterranean. He bought a vineyard in Spain, producing white wine in the hills between Valencia and Alicante, while writing and playing his songs.
Bernard died at a venue in Spain as his friends and the audience applauded his performance of one of his songs. He is survived by his sister Helen and brothers Noel and Paul, children Eoin, Oisín, Orla, Dervla and Clíodhna, 12 grandchildren, relatives and a wide circle of friends.
Bernard was cremated took place in Spain on Wednesday, November 24 with his ashes on Bray Head on Saturday, December 4.
As he himself often said, “Let the good times roll”.