Shane Reihill: A quiet man, a gentle man a straightforward and honest man

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 ( 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.

Vivid Memories..

3 Replies to “Shane Reihill: A quiet man, a gentle man a straightforward and honest man”

  1. Well said, Niall.

    You and your family obviously had more contact with Shane than I had, and I sympathise with your heartfelt loss.

  2. Thursday, Nanchang (China). Niall, I returned to Nanchang a week ago after spending a few days between Hong Kong and Guangzhou, and have been back at work since Monday this week. Thank you for the sad news and warm comments about Shane. My last contact with him was in the 1970s, when I met him in west Kensington during a visit to London. He was lodging in the house of a woman who took in students. He was either about to graduate or was doing his first job as an architect since graduation. We had drinks with the landlady in a nearby pub and back in his room Shane expressed suspicions about her. I listened noncommittally and advised him to leave for another flat if he had reasons to be worried. I gave him some money to tide him over the disruption. I imagine his time living in a HSE sheltered residence must have been a lonesome and shadowed experience”

  3. I am deeply saddened to learn of Shane’s death. I was only talking to a friend who told me that he saw a death notice and knowing that there are not that many Shane Reihill’s that I decided to check it out.
    I knew shane from my time working in Chapman Taylor Partners in London’s Kensington High Street, He would always beckon me that it was my turn to get the coffee. We would have long chats about Architecture and especially the Architect Alvar Alto, He would compare his work to expressions in Jazz. He had a beautiful way of sketching and would make very simple drawings that always got straight to the point and the essence of what the architecture was all about. When I moved back to Dublin we would meet up again and he spent a time in my house. At this time it was difficult to get a job. We would again spend time talking about Alto and architecture and he was always up for a debate. Then he would show me some sketches he was doing and their architectural expression. We lost contact then for a bit, and it is only now that I start thinking again about Shane. He was quiet an extraordinary man, and I believe well loved by his tutors in UCD Architecture Dept. I am very fond of him as at the time I considered him one of my best friends.
    I am deeply grieved to hear of his passing.
    I always thought that he was to good not to be of this world.
    He has a special place in my heart.

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