The 'much-loved' Villiers teacher died this week following a tragic fall last month
TRIBUTES have been paid to a “much-loved” Limerick secondary school teacher, who died this week following a tragic fall last month.
Father-of-one Neville Atkinson, aged 47, of Villers in the city, died this Tuesday morning at Beaumont Hospital, in Dublin, after he fell from a teleporter at a house in Offaly on August 24.
He was airlifted to Tallaght Hospital after the accident but was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital where his condition was being treated as critical.
The Villiers School Alumni and Friends Facebook page issued a notice on Tuesday afternoon, stating:
“With a heavy heart we are sorry to let you know that our much loved teacher, colleague and friend, Mr Neville Atkinson, sadly passed away this morning. Please keep him, his family and his many, many friends in your thoughts and prayers.”
Headmistress of the North Circular Road school, Jill Storey, said that the school community was left “heartbroken” over the death of the “much-loved teacher”.
Outside the classroom, Neville was a devout member of the Shannon, Mulcair and District Area angling club, in which he worked hard for the betterment of the river and the conservation of salmon.
Club chairperson Matt Foley described the late teacher as a “pure gentleman”.
“It is hard to find the words for a man like Neville, a man who did fierce work for the club. There was no avenue he didn’t explore to better fishing, whether he had to liaise with Inland Fisheries Ireland, County Council, the OPW, everywhere.
“He would work tirelessly to get things done and get things working right.
“And with poaching, he was seriously against that. He was a great man to work for a club and do things that no one else would do.”
He added that the children whom he taught “adored him”.
Angling club secretary, William O’Halloran said that they were “very sad” to hear the news of Neville’s passing.
“Neville gave up, as a volunteer for the club, huge amounts of time and effort for many years, to endeavour to look after the angling on the river and also to preserve salmon stocks. We miss Neville,” he told the Leader.
Neville, from Shinrone, Birr, in Offaly, will be laid to rest at Modreeny Cemetery, Offaly, this Sunday afternoon following a funeral Mass at St Kieran’s Church, Cloughjordan.
Cllr Adam Teskey, who was a former student of Mr Atkinson, said that he "had a unique ability to engage with students. His engagement was one of friendship as opposed to the traditional style of teaching which exists between a teacher and a student. He was a man of immense character, of great wit and humour, and he will be very much missed by past and present staff and students. We have lost a good friend."
According to a report in the Offaly Express, Mr Atkinson fell from the teleporter at a house in Offaly on August 24.
Gardaí and the Health and Safety Authority investigated the incident.
Neville is the dearly loved husband of Lynn (née Moloney) and adored dad of Ben.
Sadly missed by his loving family — parents Donald & Elsie, brother Mark, sisters Shelley and Lynn, parents-in-law Wilfred & Rosaleen, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, extended family, friends, staff & pupils of Villiers School, Limerick.
Reposing in Maher's Funeral Home, Roscrea on Friday evening from 4pm with prayers at 8pm.