Say­ing good­bye to a true Valen­tia is­lan­der

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - COM­MU­NITY NEWS -

ON Tues­day April 3, Valen­tia Is­lan­der Patrick O’Driscoll was laid to rest in Kil­more Grave­yard.

Patrick would not have been a fa­mil­iar per­son­al­ity to many of the younger gen­er­a­tion of Valen­tia Is­lan­ders as he left Valen­tia Is­land many years ago to set­tle in Dublin. How­ever,as a true Valen­tia Is­lan­der, he was well known among his own peers and those some­what younger as he had a con­sid­er­able num­ber of rel­a­tives here. He passed away on Good Fri­day in the Con­nolly Hospi­tal of Blan­chard­stown.

Patrick came from the town­land of Do­hilla, a place of out­stand­ing beauty: slop­ing fields and rugged seascapes ly­ing in the north­ern side of Valen­tia Is­land, over­look­ing Valen­tia Har­bour, Begin­ish Is­land, the Valen­tia Light­house, Din­gle Bay and the Blas­ket Is­lands far off in the dis­tance.

He was born to par­ents Patrick and Alice (née Bowler) O’Driscoll, a fam­ily which com­prised four boys and three girls. Hav­ing com­pleted their sec­ondary school ed­u­ca­tion in Ca­her­siveen his broth­ers and sis­ters left Do­hilla to per­ma­nently re­side in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try.

Patrick stayed on to op­er­ate the fam­ily’s small farm, car­ing for his par­ents. The O’Driscolls were reared in the pre- Valen­tia Bridge days and would have cy­cled from Do­hilla to cross by mo­tor boat ferry from Knight­stown to Re­nard on their way to sec­ondary school in Ca­her­siveen.

The com­mence­ment of the jour­ney in­volved quite a steep climb from the low­lands of Do­hilla, very of­ten not the most pleas­ant of jour­neys in a bi­cy­cle with a bag full of books on a day of wind and rain.

Af­ter the deaths of his par­ents, which oc­curred in close prox­im­ity to each other in 1970, Patrick left Valen­tia Is­land at the age of 30 to set­tle on a per­ma­nent ba­sis in Dublin.

He rented the graz­ing of the land to John Fran­cis Cur­ran and in the 1980s the land was bought by Noel Lynch of Chapel­town. The late Kevin Mackey pur­chased the fam­ily house and it is cur­rently owned by Paul Duff, a na­tive of Glas­nevin, Dublin.

The farm had passed through six gen­er­a­tions of the O’Drisoll fam­ily. A good and abid­ing mem­ory for this scribe is of sit­ting in the back of his trac­tor-drawn trailer with a pri­mary school friend of the ‘60s to en­joy a spin as he trav­elled home from the cream­ery to Do­hilla via the slopes of the Chapel Road.

His re­mains ar­rived from Dublin on Easter Mon­day night to the church of St Der­arca and Teresa of Chapel­town to be met by a very large at­ten­dance of rel­a­tives, friends and old neigh­bours of times past. Fr Larry Kelly of Ca­her­siveen per­formed the ob­se­quies.

Fr Kelly also of­fi­ci­ated at the fu­neral cer­e­mony on the fol­low­ing day in which read­ings were per­formed by Patrick’s neph­ews and nieces. His nephew Shane O’Driscoll read a poem of trib­ute, and the eu­logy was ren­dered by his brother, Michael.

A rainy day in Kil­more did not dampen the warm home­com­ing ac­corded to the re­mains by the many rel­a­tives, friends and neigh­bours of Patrick. They re­mem­bered him as a man of unas­sum­ing, friendly and pleas­ant dis­po­si­tion. A mem­ber of one of the last na­tive Valen­tia Is­land fam­i­lies to per­ma­nently re­side in Do­hilla, he was laid to rest among his own not far from the seag­ull’s cry and the awe­some beauty of the place where he worked his farm in his for­ma­tive years honed as a Valen­tia Is­lan­der. Sin­cere con­do­lences are of­fered to his sis­ters Mary (Hanafin),Ann and Alice (Brady); broth­ers John, Mau­rice and Michael; sis­ters-in-law; brother-in-law; nieces; neph­ews; and many rel­a­tives and friends in Valen­tia and else­where.

Solás na bhFlaith­eas dó.

Kerry Group Rás Mumhan. Photo by Stephen Power.

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