OUR HERO

Re­tired top cop Ed­die raised £30k in wife’s name

East Kilbride News - - FRONT PAGE - An­drea O’Neill

Heart­felt trib­utes have been paid to a kind­hearted lo­cal hero taken too soon.

Re­tired po­lice chief in­spec­tor Ed­die O’Hara was laid to rest last Wed­nes­day af­ter spend­ing five months in hos­pi­tal bat­tling a

brain in­jury. The 63-year-old grandad, known through­out East Kilbride for his re­mark­able char­ity work in mem­ory of his beloved late wife Linda, suf­fered a cere­bral aneurysm fol­low­ing a fall at his Calder­wood home in Novem­ber.

Tragic Ed­die, pic­tured right, passed away peace­fully at Stone­house Hos­pi­tal on April 5.

Daugh­ter Ruth said her dad was “a very spe­cial man who made me proud ev­ery day”.

The griev­ing fam­ily of re­tired East Kilbride po­lice chief in­spec­tor Ed­die O’Hara have paid a glow­ing trib­ute to their hero fol­low­ing his un­timely death.

The kind-hearted 63-year-old grandad, who in­cred­i­bly raised £30,000 for the Beat­son through a char­ity in his late wife Linda’s name, was laid to rest last Wed­nes­day.

Ed­die served in the po­lice ser­vice for 27 years be­fore re­tir­ing to care for Linda af­ter she was di­ag­nosed with ter­mi­nal ovar­ian can­cer.

He trag­i­cally suf­fered a cere­bral aneurysm fol­low­ing a fall at his Calder­wood home in Novem­ber.

With ex­ten­sive in­ter­nal bleed­ing to both sides of the head, Ed­die was told the odds of sur­viv­ing brain surgery were against him.

But de­ter­mined to hold onto life, he de­fied the odds and was able to spend five pre­cious months with his fam­ily by his bed­side.

Af­ter spend­ing his fi­nal weeks at the brain in­jury ward in Hairmyres Hos­pi­tal, Ed­die passed away peace­fully at Stone­house Hos­pi­tal on April 5.

His fu­neral ser­vice took place at St Leonard’s Church fol­lowed by a burial at the town’s Philip­shill Ceme­tery where he was laid to rest along­side his beloved Linda.

An ac­tive parish­ioner at St Leonard’s Church and ded­i­cated pres­i­dent of the par­ish’s So­ci­ety of Saint Vin­cent de Paul char­ity – a shin­ing ex­am­ple of how he de­voted his time to those in need – Ed­die was a re­mark­able force for good in the town.

He set up char­ity ‘Let’s Shout for Linda’ of which his fam­ily say he was im­mensely proud, in mem­ory of his 52-year-old wife shortly af­ter she lost her six-year can­cer bat­tle in 2006.

And, thanks to the gen­eros­ity of the peo­ple of East Kilbride and be­yond, the char­ity was able to do­nate £30,000 to the woman’s gy­nae­col­ogy ward at the Beat­son West of Scot­land Can­cer Cen­tre.

Ed­die, a for­mer pupil of St Bride’s High School, is sur­vived by his son Alan, 38, daugh­ter Ruth, 30, and seven-year-old grand­son De­clan.

Pay­ing trib­ute to her dad this week, Ruth told the News: “My dad was com­pletely fit and ac­tive and so full of life so this tragedy came as a huge shock to my fam­ily.

“My dad was a very spe­cial man. He achieved so much in life and has made me proud ev­ery­day.

“He had so many great qual­i­ties but I think the one that stood out the most was his kind­ness; he al­ways made time to help other peo­ple. Dad’s pass­ing will def­i­nitely leave a huge void in my life but I take com­fort and smile when I re­mem­ber the mem­o­ries I have of a life well lived.”

Ed­die was also quite the folk star in his younger years. His group The Floun­der went on to play many con­certs and gigs through­out Scot­land, even per­form­ing on the same bill as Billy Con­nolly and the Hum­ble­bums at Glas­gow’s Greens Play­house.

Ruth also spoke of the spe­cial bond she shared with her dad, who she de­scribed as a “huge fam­ily man”.

Ruth, who was de­scribed dur­ing Ed­die’s eu­logy as his “pride and joy”, added: “We had a very spe­cial father/daugh­ter re­la­tion­ship.

“Due to the na­ture of the in­jury, he never spoke af­ter the fall.

“But the very de­ter­mined man that he is, he was still able to com­mu­ni­cate in cer­tain ways.

“With my dad he only had to give a look and you knew what he was say­ing. I took com­fort in that, it was re­ally nice and re­as­sur­ing. He was a fab­u­lous man who will be greatly missed.”

Af­ter leav­ing school, Ed­die went into hair­dress­ing and, demon­strat­ing his kind na­ture, styled res­i­dents’ hair at a lo­cal nurs­ing home for free.

He went on to join the Glas­gow po­lice force in 1973 where he had an ex­cep­tional and il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, even­tu­ally gain­ing the rank of Chief In­spec­tor.

Ed­die ex­celled in this role but never lost his sense of hu­mour – en­ter­tain­ing his fam­ily with hu­mor­ous sto­ries in­clud­ing hav­ing to chase a bull through Hamil­ton town cen­tre dur­ing a night shift.

The Re­tired Po­lice Of­fi­cers’ As­so­ci­a­tion (RPOAS) La­nark­shire Branch paid trib­ute to Ed­die in a state­ment on their Face­book page.

It read: “Ed­die was a very pop­u­lar shift mem­ber, renowned for his sense of hu­mour and pro­fes­sional ap­proach to his du­ties. He was a very pos­i­tive of­fi­cer and a plea­sure to work with.”

Fam­ily man Ed­die pic­tured with daugh­ter Ruth at a ‘Teal Ball’ fundrais­ing event for Linda’s char­ity at the Cruther­land House Ho­tel in 2012 To­gether for­ever Ed­die and Linda O’Hara on their wed­ding day in 1975

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