Drimulra, Newport, Co Mayo
Richard (Dick) Sweeney died peacefully at Mayo University Hospital on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 surrounded by his family and friends, he slipped away into the beyond with the sun beaming down and the noise of the grass being cut outside – his kind of day. Dick the youngest of a set of twins, was born on the 11th of June 1936 to Richard and Annie Sweeney. He lived most of his live in his beautiful home in Drimulra and was proud to say that he lived beside “Grace Kelly’s Country”. He went to school in Cuilmore National School. He left school at a young age but in saying that he was well educated and a very intelligent man. Dick worked locally for a few years and then with and his brother John, emigrated to England where they travelled and worked for the most part of twenty years. There he met his beloved wife Mary and they were married in January 1971. Dick settled into the role of a family man, welcoming their first child Maryann in December 1972 in Wales. They decided to move back to Drimulra in 1974. At home in the ‘70s the economy wasn’t fantastic but Dick, being Dick bought a JCB and started digging and never stopped travelling the length and breadth of the country until the late ‘90s.
Dick was known far and wide and he was the busiest man on the road and probably for a while he was the only man with a machine in those days. During this time he and Mary welcomed their second and third daughters Hillary and Monica. Dick and Mary stayed in Drimulra and brought up their daughters and worked hard both farming and with the JCB for years after. Dick had a wonderful attitude and always saw the best in any situation. Dick had a great interest in most things work related but was a brilliant first aider, who had studied with St. John’s Ambulance and he was as good as a doctor in any house. Dick had a massive memory and was like the local historian, he would never forget a date and knew all the local history about who was related to who. Dick was a huge character, he had a booming voice and was an exceptionally strong man and enjoyed nothing better than throwing the 56lbs at a sports day and bringing home a trophy. He had many interests in life including current affairs, a good game of twenty five and a walk around Cortoon when the moon was out. He had a few favourite places around his house to sit, relax, watch the world go by and listen to Mid West Radio. Dick had a wit about him like no other and would love nothing better than telling a good joke and getting into a blast of a song, there was always the cúpla focail as gaeilge whenever you entered the house. He was an avid fan of Big Tom and Margo. Dick loved his neighbours and always had a beep of the horn when passing in his Toyota Corolla, the village knew when Dick was out and when he was back by the beeping of that horn. Dick was always in his car and would go on random trips to all sorts of places and enjoyed going to Mary’s native Donegal for a couple visits a year and Knock Shrine. The car was always full and no one would be passed on the road, he enjoyed talking with the younger generation and was happy to dish out advice to them especially Kieran and Conor as he travelled the by-roads of Fahy. Dick was a great conversationalist and enjoyed a good talk with everyone he met and loved nothing better than a good debate with Martin the grocery man on a Wednesday. Life was never boring when Dick was in your company.
In 2012, Dick started his Dialysis treatment but he never let the treatment get the better of him and chose to see it as going to work, he invested himself into the people he met, the patients and the nurses. Dick enjoyed good health save the dialysis for a number of years after but had taken a few knocks firstly by the tragic death of his grandson Alan in November 2013 and then his twin John in March 2014 but Dick got on with things and was up-beat and happy for the most part. He was energetic and happy until the end. He loved being independent and doing his own thing, age was only a number as he was a young buck in his own mind. Dick loved going to Mass and had a strong Catholic upbringing and there is no doubt but his faith kept him going in tough times.
Dick Sweeney was a great man and a bit of a legend in his own right. There is no doubt but we will miss him greatly. Dick was laid to rest in Kilmaclasser Cemetery beside his beloved brother on May 31.
Dick was predeceased by his grandson Alan and his twin brother John.
Dick is survived and sadly missed by his wife Mary, daughters Maryann, Hillary and Monica; his half sister Mary Joe Corcoran (Liverpool) and his half brother Patsy (Helensborough), his sons-in-law Michael and Noel, his ten grandchildren, Kelly, Amy, Rachel, Shannon, Conor, Megan, Mickie, Jack, Dan and Aoife and his two great-grandchildren Chloe and Hannah, his cousins in Ballycroy and America, a wide circle of friends but especially his wonderful friends Michael O’Haire, Mary Navin, Kieran Spellman, Kathleen and Colin Walsh and his dialysis nurses and friends, who were so kind to Dick and treated him with such care and attention.
May his gentle soul have peaceful rest.