Deerpark East, Westport, Co Mayo
There is an old saying – Sure he had a heart of gold. This was definitely true for Stephen. Suddenly and unexpectedly while at work his big heart of gold stopped beating. Stephen died on March 24, 2022, aged 22 years. He was a student and studied construction management at GMIT Galway and was class representative for his class since 2019.
As part of his college placement Stephen started and assisted in delivering a project at Uniplumo, Wysetown, Co Meath, a big project for Local Westport Company – Cunningham Civil and Marine Ltd. At the start Stephen found this placement difficult, he would say if this job was in Westport I would be buzzing because I knew where to source things, suppliers, services, machinery etc – this was a completely new experience for him, one that was very important to achieve a good result in because it would impact on his final qualification going forward. Much to Eoghan Cunningham’s credit and all the trust he placed in Stephen it wasn’t long until Stephen had the site and the project up and running and was well ahead of schedule. From speaking with Engineers, Architects and Quantity Surveyors who knew Stephen said the maturity, knowledge, expertise and understanding that Stephen had and the way he conducted and presented himself at project and planning meetings was outstanding for a young man of 22 years.
Stephen was always a people’s person, kind, honest, thoughtful, caring, respectful. He always wanted to do his best and the best for others. He could and would always talk to anyone and could resolve a difficult situation with a few words, a smile and a joke. This was evident in his dealing as Class Rep while liaising between Lecturers and Student to achieve studious harmony. As Class Rep he was respected by his fellow students and Lecturers a like, a role he took great pride in.
Stephen was born on December 16, 1999 – the eldest of three boys, born to Margaret and Martin. From an early age it was evident that Stephen was a fast learner and always wanted to go to the next level quickly.
Stephen was educated in Scoil Phadraig, Altamount Street, Westport and then onto Rice College for Secondary School where friendships were made and remain to this day. After achieving his leaving cert results he decided to take a year out before he started his third level education. This was not a doss year as some might suspect – he had a plan. He had been working since he was 15 years old, started off as a kitchen porter in the Country Lodge, Aughagower –then onto Eoghan Mini Mix, next Michael O’Malley Road Contractors, Castlebar, then James Heneghan Heat and Plumbing and finally back to Eoghan Mini Mix. He saved up for his car and insurance and finally he gained his transport independence.
Family was very important to Stephen. He was blessed to have known both his grannies for the most of his short young life. He had a great relationship with both of them and with their life experience and guidance they also shaped him into becoming the fine young man he became.
Stephen has two brothers, Ray and Conor whom he loved, treasured and guided in so many ways. He took his roll as their big brother very seriously and was always there to help them both anytime they needed him. He was so proud of them and what they have achieved. Stephen was a great ambassador for the Walsh family and this continued through his life. As his parents we were so proud and privileged to have him as our son. He was always there for us both, always the helping hand, the big hugs, the listening ear, the chats, the stories, fun and jokes – never ever to be forgotten.
On May 30, 2018 Stephen met Leah. Leah became the love of his life. As you know Stephen had a great big smile, but it only got bigger and brighter when he was with Leah. Leah has always been a constant support to Stephen from the first day they met, keeping him on the straight and narrow and by helping him to become the great young man he was and wanted to be. Around this time last year Stephen and Leah got Rosie the dog – the fun and enjoyment Rosie brought Stephen couldn’t be measured.
Social occasions were a great time for Stephen. He enjoyed the company and fun of all his cousins in Ireland and England. He loved fun and craic, stories recalled are when Stephen and a few of his cousins were going up Bridge Street one night, spirits were high – Stephen asked a local busker for his guitar and proceeded to give his best rendition of the Jumbo Breakfast Roll to everyone on the street. In Liverpool he was comfortable to spend the entire night in a Chinese karaoke bar singing the night away with Leah and all his English cousins.
Stephen is survived by his Parents Margaret and Martin, Brothers Ray and Conor, Girlfriend Leah, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Godfather, Goddaughter, relatives and extended family.
After a very beautiful and emotional funeral Mass, Stephen was laid to rest in Aughavale Cemetry. Stephen left this life far too soon, but in this short time he was given he achieved so much. His death was a huge shock but his life will be remembered forever and his memory will bring comfort to those who mourn him. May Stephen rest in peace – Amen.
December 16, 1999 – March 24, 2022
The happiest man I have ever met,
Always jolly, he would never fret.
Playing with trucks since you were two,
It was your passion, we always knew.
Always joking and tricking Conor and Ray,
He made them laugh every single day,
All three were there for each other,
Stephen, you were the best big brother.
Leah, you were always by his side,
Now he will forever be your guide,
Remember him as he flies high,
Leah, you were the butterfly in his eye.
Maggie and Martin, words can’t describe,
His love for you will never die,
Use his strength to carry you through,
As a family, we are always here for you.
Singing and dancing, having the craic,
I will always trust you to have my back,
Thank you for spending time with me,
Because meeting you was better than any dream could be.