Brendan Rice snr, Dundalk, (1936 –2018)
Brendan Rice of Bachelor’s Walk who died on July 2 last was a retired carpenter who worked on a number of well known public buildings in the area.
He was also an accomplished sportsman in his younger years and later passed on his knowledge and experience in regard to his favourite sport of athletics in helping to run the Seatown club.
Brendan grew up in the Dowdallshill area where his parents Peter and Molly owned for a time the landmark Lisdoo Arms licensed premises, and also lived on the Marsh Road. He was the second youngest of six sons in a family of an 11 that comprised also five daughters. Sport was a feature of his younger years, playing football with Dowdallshill at left half back but was more into running with the club.
He passed his love of sport onto his own children. When he moved to live in Bachelor’s Walk, they took part in football and athletics, and he helped with training young athletes at the Marist Ground and the running of the Seatown athletics club. He also gave the young athletes great pep talks to encourage them.
He was a keen and strong swimmer and taught his children to swim at Gyles Quay where the family spent summer breaks for many years in their caravan. He also had a great passion for pigeons that he kept at his home for many years. His sons had also a great interest in and looking after the pigeons and racing them.
Brendan attended school with the Christian Brothers in town and went on to serve his time as a carpenter and was acknowledged for his craftsmanship. He was employed for most of his career with the building firm of James Wynne until he retired and held the position of foreman.
He was involved in the building of the swimming pools at Drumcar and Ballymascanlon hotel and also the Community Care centre on the Dublin Road.
When he retired he enjoyed taking his dog Sam for a walk about town. He kept interested in sport, enjoying watching it on television. He indulged his love of music and especially of Mario Lanza, Pavarotti and John McCormick.
He liked reading and staying in contact with his siblings, most of whom emigrated for economic reasons and in search of jobs in the 1950s and 1960s. Brendan and his sister Ethna were the only two who remained at home, and Ethna passed away a few years ago.
Brendan delighted in having the family members come and stay with him on breaks home and taking them on sightseeing trips in the area. Most of the family settled in England, between, London, Coventry and Birmingham, while sister Sheila headed off to California.
With the onset of dementia, Brendan received the priceless help of the Birch’s Day Care centre, and was fortunate to come under the wonderful care and support of the staff at Saint Oliver Plunkett Hospital over the last number of years when in need of full-time time care. It was there he passed away peacefully.
He was predeceased by his wife Brigid (Dolly), along with his siblings Pat, Bernie, Peter, Vincent, little Ethna (who died aged six), Angela, Ethna, Sheila and Jim.
He is survived by his daughter, Linda O'Brien (Kilsaran), sons, Declan (Manchester), Brendan, Denis, Joe (Newry), Aidan (Australia) and Peter (Liverpool), sister, Maeve Gaughran (London), grandchildren, great-grandchildern, extended family, neighbours and friends.
He reposed at the residence of his son Brendan, Haynestown, on the Tuesday and Wednesday. He then was removed for funeral Mass on Thursday morning in Saint Patrick's Cathedral. The celebrant was Father Mark O’Hagan Adm who gave the eulogy.
Gifts symbolising his life were laid before the altar by son-in-law Alan and grandson Ethan. These included his glasses and a newspaper symbolising his love of reading, and a pencil and measuring tape that he used during his work as a carpenter.
The Readings were given by sons, Aidan and Peter, while the Prayers of the Faithful were led by nieces, Catherine, Denise, Yvonne, Angela and daughter-in-law, Sandra Rice.
The Offertory Gifts were presented by niece Angela and family friend Bernie Boyle.
Son Joe spoke after Communion about his father and expressed the family’s warm gratitude to Saint Oliver Plunkett Hospital.
The wonderful music was provided by Brendan and Sarah McCourt, organist and vocalist, which reflected Brendan’s love of classical music and Pavarotti with his favourite piece Nessun Dorma played as his remains were taken from the church.
Burial took place in Saint Mary's cemetery, Kilsaran.
Month’s Mind Mass for Brendan is on Sunday, August 5 in Saint Patrick’s Cathedral at 11.30am
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