Billy worked tirelessly to help those suffering with Asthma
THE COMMUNITY of Arklow was deeply saddened to learn of the death of local man Billy Forde in recent weeks.
Billy passed away at St. Vincent’s Hospital on Sunday, July 26 following illness.
Son of Thomas and Julia Forde, Billy grew up in Abbey Street and was a brother to Christy.
As a youngster he grew up across the road from his future wife Doreen née Mulligan from O’Connell Tce.
They married in 1960 in Ss. Mary and Peter’s Church, Arklow and started their life together living in O’Connell Tce.
Later they moved to Rory O’Connor Place and raised their six children Thomas, Peter, Caroline, Liam, Brian and James.
In his younger days Billy worked as a Merchant Sea Man before taking a job in IFI in 1966.
Here, Billy worked for 14 years as a plant operator before he had to take early retirement due to ill health.
He was diagnosed with asthma in 1979 and a few years later he became involved in the founding of the local Asthma Society Branch to offer advice and assistance to others in the community with the condition. He started off as PRO in 1983 and was voted Chairperson in 1988. He worked tirelessly to raise awareness and funding for the operation and made a huge difference to the lives of many people.
Billy gave his energies to every aspect of the society from organising swimming lessons and exercise classes to ensuring that life saving defibrillators were installed in town. Sadly this was to be his last project before his passing, but his contribution will live on for many years to come. Two months previous to this, while not in the best of health Billy was still going strong and presented €10,000 to the Asthma Helpline.
The Asthma Society was not the only focus of Billy’s charitable efforts as in 1990 he decided to launch a campaign to arrange a headstone for the Forgotten Dead of Arklow.
He was laid to rest in St. Gabriel’s Cemetery, Arklow after funeral mass.
Billy is sadly missed by his wife Doreen, children Thomas, Peter, Caroline, Liam, Brian, and James, brother Christy, grandchildren, extended family and a wide circle of friends. May he rest in peace.