What a deep sense of sorrow to hear of Shane’s passing.
The less than 50 words notice of his death in today’s Irish Times, three days after a heart-attack at a Health Services Executive (HSE) -run sheltered housing facility portray a mere name, a faceless statistic. Shane was so much more: A quiet man, a gentle man a straightforward and honest man: As decent a man one could ever hope to meet. Heart-rending are the circumstances that was Shane’s fifty-two years, solitude having become a life sentence.
I have superb abiding memories of First Cousin Shane: A man of considerable, largely unnurtured, artistic talent. The Texaco Children’s Art Competition award he won at St Michael’s College, Ailesbury Road, back in the 1970s being an early indication of such ability, Shane went on to UCD where he attained the Degree of Bachelor of Architecture, a source of great satisfaction for his beloved mother Maureen (http://wp.me/p15Yzr-175) and sister Orla. Recently, Shane painted two miniature exquisite, yet simple, water colour paintings for my Mother, ‘Auntie Kath’. Shane, they will always take pride of place in our house.
Then there was Shane in green overalls fixing show-jumping fences at the Dublin Horse Show’s Aga Khan Cup, a dream summer job. Another memory is Christmas Dinner at our house, a paper hat on his head, a big cigar in his mouth… he was only 17.
He was the first person to call me Nailer.
Shane, Auntie Kath, William, Conor and Nailer are greatly saddened you have departed this world, but we know you will surely rest in peace.