THREE of the late Damien Carmody’s passions were Limerick GAA, photography and aeroplanes and these all formed part of a night to celebrate his life.
Over 250 gathered together in the Castle Oaks House Hotel on Saturday night to remember the 18-year-old from Montpelier. He passed away peacefully after an eight-year battle with chronic pain syndrome. Sometimes he couldn’t walk, was unable to make it up to his own bed at night and occasionally passed out in school due to the pain.
But despite this he lived a full life and touched the lives of many. His talent for photography was displayed in all the pictures that decorated the room in the Castle Oaks. Damien’s love for Limerick hurling was shown by a signed jersey, organised by Shane Dowling, being given to younger brother, Dylan.
While his passion for everything aeronautical was reflected in a plaque from Shannon Aviation of a model plane being presented to Damien’s parents – Shirley and Ger. This was all organised by Dolores O’Connell, who spearheaded the night, with the help of husband Ollie, Mairead and Dan Fanning, Donna O’Rourke, and Sarah Feheney.
Dolores wanted to show the Carmody family moral and financial support after a terrible year. Shirley lost her father Mikey just two months before Damien died.
The two were very close and were laid to rest beside each other in O’Brien’s Bridge cemetery.
To compound matters, Ger and Shirley’s daughter, Clodagh, has begun to present with similar symptoms to Damien. Organisers gave her a locket with a picture of Damien inside.
As a mother and a friend of Shirley’s, Dolores said her heart goes out to her.
“She has had such a tough year. We wanted to try and support her and the family. People were very good financially – buying tickets and donating – but I wanted people there on the night to show the Carmodys that people cared. We had a huge crowd. There was definitely over 250 there,” said Dolores, who thanked everybody in the parish of Ahane, Castleconnell and Montpelier for their support; general manager of the Castle Oaks, Barry Kennedy, for his generosity and local band Vinyl who also gave their services for free.
Over €5,000 has been collected for the Carmody family from the fundraiser with more to come.
A Go Fund Me Page remains open for those who may have missed the event.
Dolores said the Carmody family were “blown away” by the night and to see Damien remembered in this way.