Turlough, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo
My beloved Desmond, the late Desmond Dalgan Lyons who died on the February 11, 2021, didn’t seek material possessions, he was delighted with possessing only a few books as he would have given the ones he would have read to charity shops, books of poetry, recitations, astronomy, history books (Desmond loved history, in particular, the history of his much-loved native county Mayo, the history of his much-loved country), his late father, Michael Dalgan’s bible which had been passed on to him, such a precious gift he was treasuring. Desmond was beautiful when he was reading books, papers, magazines, the Bible, he looked so absorbed, so contented, so happy.
He used to watch and read the news on television, all the news. He would have stayed up very late to watch France 24 on TG4 and of course he wouldn’t have missed its Friday Western.
Desmond loved Midwest Radio, always there for him, even in hurricanes, when the electric power would have gone, radio stations providing such a valuable service to countryside people, especially these days at this very difficult time of Covid-19. Midwest Radio was a great comfort to him, a company when he would have been lonely, confinement making the most sociable man very lonely indeed. He listened to the news, to the death Funeral Notices, as it was very important to him to attend the funerals of the people he would have known, the funerals of the people he wouldn’t have known but who would have been close to his family members, to his friends and neighbours. He listened to the Masses also. He listened to the lovely Irish music.
Desmond loved music, country music and had been so happy to be able to go to a Big Tom concert and to a Kris Kristofferson concert in Castlebar. He really enjoyed these evenings. Desmond was a fan of the great Johnny Cash: he loved him for his beautiful songs but also for his life story, respecting his courage at the time of illnesses.
Desmond would have been watching Johnny Cash concerts on DVDs with his late mother Bridie and they would have been recalling with tenderness that ‘Ring of Fire’ was Daddy’s song, very joyful memories that Desmond cherished.
Desmond was a shy singer but he was excelling at the art of recitation as he had a rare, the most gorgeous voice, the qualities of delivery which would have made him becoming an outstanding orator as his late father, Michael Dalgan. Desmond was very eloquent, very witty, had a wonderful radiant sense of humour, such great gifts had inherited from both his late parents, Michael Dalgan and Bridie. He had an exceptional memory of people, of events also. Desmond was the most intelligent man but he was always modest, unassuming.
He liked simple things. He loved nature, watching birdlife on the Turlough from his house, sometimes using binoculars. He loved watching the sky at night, the moon and all the stars, admiring God’s creations, waiting for eclipses and other wonders to manifest themselves. He loved astronomy and enjoyed sharing his knowledge with me.
He loved his elderly cat who is so good natured, so gentle and may be it is why they had a special bond.
Desmond had started an art class in Ballyhaunis, he enjoyed it a lot and if he could have continued (alas the class stopped), he would have become a wonderful nature painter, painting his Turlough with a beautiful rainbow above it.
What Desmond loved the most, was talking to people, brightening anyone’s bad days with a few words (or more!), with a few jokes (or more!), that was making him the most happy man, to bring joy and laughter to others. Everyone was thrilled to meet him as he could be so entertaining but most of all, because everyone loved him as he loved everyone, never saying a bad word against anyone, always quick at forgiving.
Desmond didn’t care about material possessions but he cared about the people he loved: his late parents, his late brother who died in infancy, his five sisters, his two brothers, his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law and their families, his extended family, his friends of so many years, sadly many having passed away, his old work colleagues, his neighbours in his beloved Turlough-Greenwood, all very good to him, the people of Bekan, Ballyhaunis, Knock and beyond, so many people having been so good to him, and me, Isabelle.
We had been far away from each other recently because of Covid-19 but were hoping to be able to be reunited soon. I feel a little comfort in the fact that the last words we said to each other, not long before Desmond died were: me to Desmond: “Je t’aime”, Desmond to me: “Je t’aime”. They were the last words we had.
Desmond was a very kind man who will be missed by so many of us. God who loves Desmond and who loves us will comfort us, mourning him, feeling so much pain and sorrow but also feeling so privileged and so grateful for having known him, loved him and being loved by him.
Desmond died peacefully in his sleep from natural causes on the February 11, 2021.
Rest in peace, beautiful man.
We miss him and will always but at this moment, Alan Tracy is driving his Intergalactica Spaceship in another galaxy, Desmond is making every Angel laugh in Heaven!