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Michael J. Walsh

Obituaries

Knappabeg, Westport

The peaceful death took place of Michael Walsh at Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar on 01 November 2018. Michael was predeceased by his beloved wife, Margaret, one year ago.  He is deeply mourned by his children, grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, sisters, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces, extended family and friends. Michael grew up in Knappabeg, the son of Michael and Margaret Walsh (RIP). His parents passed away in 1972 and 1967, respectfully. Michael was the second-youngest of eight children. Knappabeg remained his home; he was rooted in the area and often reminisced about life growing-up, its ups and downs. As a proud Westport native, he enthused ‘all things Westport’, especially Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay. He was still climbing Croagh Patrick into his early-70s, (proudly estimating over 100 climbs). Michael was very hard-working throughout his life; he had a great appreciation and gratitude for rural life and nature. He took great pride in his daily work and building accomplishments. Michael retained a strong sense of community; he actively looked-out for his neighbours, especially when providing a helping-hand to the elderly. His many nameless acts of kindness continue to be remembered. He was very proud of his time serving in the Irish Reserve Army (18th Battalion F.C.A.) and he recounted many stories over his lifetime. He headed-up a community Water Scheme, chaired a local School Board of Management and held many other voluntary community roles.  He married Margaret Reilly in 1968. After almost 50 years of married life, there were many wonderful memories to cherish. They loved each other dearly. They had four children, Mary, Noel, Dymphna and Michelle. Together, they worked hard to provide a happy and secure home. Michael played a very loving and supportive role in the lives of all of his children. Family life came first, always. As a father, Michael was compassionate, selfless and wise. He taught by example and made many sacrifices, very admirable aspects of his legacy today. He warmly welcomed his sons-in-law (John and Gerry) and daughter-in-law (Olivia) into the family and delighted in their company. His precious grandchildren were like a, new lease of life. He cherished the fun of being a Grandad; they gave him great joy in return.  
Practicing his faith was central to Michael’s daily life, especially his faith in St. Patrick. Indeed, he often looked to the soaring peak of Croagh Patrick for many a favour (or sometimes, just marvelled in its awe)! His love of history was well-known, he read endless amounts of history books and truly enjoyed discussing local heritage, deciphering old maps and discovering sites of historical significance. He placed great importance on the value of education and showed a deep understanding of local landscapes and an appreciation for local heritage and cultural traditions. As a good listener with an easy wit, Michael was also blessed with terrific friends. There are many anecdotes about his sense of humour and at times, he could ‘talk for Ireland’. However, to his close friends, Michael was also a thoughtful and dependable presence to whom they turned for advice. Michael was close to his extended family, especially his siblings and their spouses. He also had great fondness and interest in his nephews and nieces, he valued their company. Indeed, family based in England remained very close to his heart and were always wonderful to visit.
However, Michael certainly experienced sadness and loss, not least being predeceased by his only brother, Padraig (2015) and sisters, Mary (1954), Margaret (1995) and Evelyn (2016). In more recent times, Michael’s warm friendly smile often belied his own health challenges. He remained most grateful for the professional and compassionate services, of many. While Michael may have died following a heart attack, his heart was already ‘broken’ for all of this past year, without his beloved wife, Margaret (RIP)… indeed, all those around him, knew this to be true.

A final tribute
to our Dad
We hold you close
within our hearts,
And there you
shall remain,
To walk with us throughout our lives,
Until we meet again.
So rest in peace
dear Dad,
And thank you for
all you’ve done,
We pray that God
has given you,
The crown you’ve
truly won.

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