‘You gave it your best James, your almighty best’

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - OBITUARIES -

James Daly, 1962 - 2018

THERE was sin­cere sad­ness and a sense of dis­be­lief as news of James Daly’s un­timely death spread through­out Kerry, Lim­er­ick and far be­yond.

He passed away peace­fully on the 18th Jan­uary, em­braced in the lov­ing care of his wife Eileen, sons Mark and James and daugh­ter Eimear, hav­ing been ad­mit­ted to the Mil­ford Care Cen­tre, Lim­er­ick on the pre­vi­ous day. James was born on 19th Oc­to­ber, 1962 to par­ents Joan and De­nis Daly, Castleis­land. He came from a fam­ily of six chil­dren, brother to Kather­ine, Joanie, Mike, Myra and Mar­guerite. He at­tended school lo­cally in Castleis­land but it’s fair to say that he re­ceived a very worth­while ed­u­ca­tion in the com­pany of his father De­nis and older brother Mike, as they trav­elled roads, boreens, cul-de­sacs and moun­tain tracks to farm­ers, fair days and marts the length and breadth of the coun­try buy­ing and sell­ing live­stock and sheep, an ed­u­ca­tion that served him well and shaped his des­tiny. An ed­u­ca­tion, now in fond re­call, re­ferred to as UDD, the Univer­sity of De­nis Daly. Stud­ies in­cluded Farm­ing and Fi­nance, Statis­tics and Lo­gis­tics, Sup­ply Chain Man­age­ment, in other words ‘how to work hard and make a few bob’. As well as plenty of hard­ship, there were great times along the way, al­ways in pur­suit of progress and an eye to the land and fine fields.

James also had an eye on his girl. In Eileen O’Lough­lin, the love of his life, he had met a per­fect ally, the Vet’s daugh­ter, from just ‘back the road’ in Sandville, Castleis­land. Child­hood sweet­hearts, James and Eileen mar­ried, re­stored a beau­ti­ful old stone farm-house and set up a happy home to­gether on the farm in Ballinlough, Kil­teely, Co. Lim­er­ick, 28 years ago, where they reared their three chil­dren. They worked hard and achieved a lot.

From Bal­ly­hau­nis to Bun­clody, Castleis­land to Camolin, Din­gle to Dun­boyne, Puck to Pal­las­green, wher­ever there were live­stock or sheep to be bought, sold, sup­plied or dis­trib­uted James Daly was widely-known, well­liked and highly re­garded. Blessed with a shrewd busi­ness in­tu­ition, a hard work ethic and com­mon sense, James had his pro­fes­sion per­fected to a fine art and con­ducted it al­ways with ease, good will and good hu­mour, with­out pos­tur­ing, fuss or fan-fare. The es­teem in which he was held was re­flected in the huge crowds that at­tended his Re­moval and on the day of his Fu­neral Mass, and in the Guards of Hon­our that were pro­vided on both days.

Although, be­ing di­ag­nosed in 2011, James never com­plained of ill­ness and no mat­ter what, he just kept work­ing through all that jour­ney, through oper­a­tions and treat­ment and tests and re­sults. With re­mark­able re­serves of en­durance and courage, he con­tin­ued to pack a lot in, made the days count, never called it quits. Of­ten times he’d sit into his jeep in Dublin, af­ter a hos­pi­tal stay or bout of treat­ment and a few hours later be on his John Deere work­ing on the farm in Ballinlough or at the ring in Gor­tatlea Mart. He was still buy­ing and sell­ing and deal­ing on the phone, in the hos­pi­tal, up to the very end. A farmer, a buyer, a seller, a dealer, a sup­plier, a lorry driver, a char­ac­ter and above all a dear hus­band, father, brother and sound friend, James made every­one’s world a friend­lier, fun­nier place. With that smidgen of harm­less dev­il­ment, if you met him to­day, you’d find your­self still laugh­ing to­mor­row and into the mid­dle of next week.

James is so very sadly missed by his wife Eileen, sons Mark and James, daugh­ter Eimear, his brother Mike (Castleis­land), sis­ters Kather­ine Mur­phy (Cork), Joanie Madi­gan (UK), Myra Daly (Tralee) and Mar­guerite Grif­fin (Ne­nagh), sis­ters-in-law, broth­ers-in-law, mother-in-law and ex­tended O’Lough­lin fam­ily, nieces, neph­ews, cousins, neigh­bours and many friends.

The Daly and O’Lough­lin Fam­i­lies would like to ex­tend many thanks to the Med­i­cal Peo­ple in nu­mer­ous hos­pi­tals, to the Mil­ford Care Cen­tre, Lim­er­ick and to all those who cared in so many ways dur­ing James’ fi­nal days and through­out the Fu­neral pro­ceed­ings; Dav­ern Un­der­tak­ers, the great neigh­bours and friends, the meitheal of stew­ards who pro­vided traf­fic con­trol, the won­der­ful Par­ish Choir, the mean­ing­ful sup­port of an en­tire Com­mu­nity in the Par­ish of Kil­teely. A heart­ful thanks to the crowds of neigh­bours, friends, rel­a­tives and ac­quain­tances who trav­elled from James and Eileen’s na­tive par­ish of Castleis­land and to all those who made the jour­ney from near and far to ex­press sym­pa­thy and con­vey con­do­lences. Thanks to those who or­gan­ised and formed the Guards of Hon­our which meant a lot, to those who sent Mass Cards, let­ters, emails, texts and those who tele­phoned.

A spe­cial thanks to Fr Joe Ty­nan. In his thought­ful words dur­ing the Fu­neral Mass, Father Joe spoke of James’ love of the land which prompted the lovely ges­ture of plac­ing a fist of straw from the Crib, care­fully on the cof­fin and then bring­ing to mind Lis­towel play­wright, the late John B Keane and his work ‘The Field’, the sim­plic­ity of these salutes strik­ing a chord.

In­deed, to sum­marise the life and times of James Daly, one could para­phrase John B’s words taken from his play ‘Sive’, ‘You gave it your best James, your almighty best’.

James’ fi­nal rest­ing place is the an­cient grave­yard in Ballinlough, with its rus­tic stone walls and iron gate, shel­tered by a rolling grassy hill and a stand of stead­fast, old trees, at the end of his own boreen, still with an eye to the land and the fine fields he farmed. May the sod lie gen­tly on his soul!

‘God be with him now and bring him home with his fair share’. Ní bheidh a lei­théid arís ann. James’ Month’s Mind Mass will be held in St. Pa­trick and Brigid’s Church, Kil­teely, Co. Lim­er­ick on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 17 th at 7.30pm.

The late James Daly

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