Jim gave freely of his time without asking for anything

By Mary Dennehy

LAST Saturday the community lined the streets of Tallaght Village in tribute and thanks to life-long community volunteer, Jim Lawlor.

One of the founding members of Tallaght Community Council (TCC) more than 40 years ago, Jim passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 2, in Peamount Hospital.

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Mourners raise the coffin into the hearse outside the Priory church

He was 78 years old.

After growing up in Killininny Cottages on the Firhouse Road, Jim moved to Seskin View with his late wife Mary and had two children Alison and Martin - and six adored grandchildren Evan, Emma, Aoife, Erika, Harvey and Matilda.

Over the decades, Jim supported with great kindness and passion all aspects of life in Tallaght, with his varied volunteering efforts reflected in the many individuals and groups that lined Tallaght Village last Saturday – in a socially distant, guard of honour.

Catherine Heaney, Chairperson of the Patient Community and Advisory Council (PCAC) in Tallaght University Hospital was among those who stood in tribute to a man who helped promote, protect and celebrate his hometown’s past, present and future.

Catherine, who is also the co-ordinator of Fettercairn Community Health Project, worked alongside Jim on the advisory council since 2015.

“As the Chairperson of the Patient and Community Advisory Council in Tallaght University Hospital, I had the distinct honour of working with Jim when he became a Community Representative on the group in 2015”, Catherine told The Echo.

“Jim brought his unique experience as a carer to the work of the PCAC as well as his understanding, knowledge and love of Tallaght. 

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Representatives from the wide range of groups Jim contributed to formed a socially distant guard of honour on Main Street into The Priory and St Maelruain’s graveyard, holding cards showing the Tallaght Communty Council Logo, the message “Thank You Jim” and the Tallaght Flag

“Jim was dedicated to making Tallaght University Hospital an integral part of the community and showed unwavering support to the staff and patients. 

“All of the members of the PCAC had incredible admiration and respect for Jim and all he gave to his community. 

“We were privileged to have been part of the guard of honour at his funeral.”

Catherine added: “Jim was a gentle spirit, was genuinely an inspiration to me personally and was a true gentleman. 

“He gave freely of his time without ever asking for anything in return and was a man of immense integrity. 

“I deeply respected him and his loss will be felt throughout the Tallaght community.”

People lined the streets in a guard of honour as Jim was brought to St Mary’s Priory in Tallaght Village.

Following the funeral mass, people lined the street once more as Jim travelled the short distance from St Mary’s to his resting place in St Maelruain’s graveyard – where Canon William Deverell was waiting.

“Jim was such a kind and thoughtful man”, Canon Deverell told The Echo.

“He was always so delightful and so supportive…and just got on with his volunteering work, quietly.”

In tribute since his passing, TCC has praised Jim’s instinct to always help others with “deep kindness and humility”, and his trademark can-do attitude.

Speaking after Jim’s funeral, Liz Kennedy, Chair of TCC and Production Manager at The Echo, said: “Jim’s decades of community-giving stretched across many aspects of local life - from resident associations to being a driving force of the annual Tallaght Person of the Year awards to patient advocacy in Tallaght University Hospital.

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“Last Saturday, representatives from the wide range of groups Jim contributed to formed a socially distant guard of honour on Main Street into The Priory and St Maelruain’s graveyard.

“This was to show our great respect for Jim on his final journey through Tallaght and to show his family our tangible support as best we could under the current restrictions of Covid 19. TCC would like to thank everyone who came and took part.”

Jim’s family hopes to celebrate his life with the community in the near future.

RIP Jim.

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