The late Siobhán Shanahan (nee Brosnan) gave the gift of life to four people through the donation of her organs / Picture: Brian Arthur
WHEN Siobhán Shanahan (née Brosnan) left work in UHL on Holy Thursday, the organ donation nurse manager ensured the person on the desk had her mobile number because there might be organs to be donated over the weekend.
But tragically it was Siobhán who gave the gift of life to four people after she passed away on Easter Sunday. A traffic accident occurred on Good Friday in Adare where Siobhán lived with husband Patrick.
At her moving funeral Mass in Ballybunion this Thursday afternoon, her sister Mary said: "We pray for the recipients of the organs, that they will live on with the verve, happiness and sense of fun Siobhán had."
The Mass was a celebration of Siobhán’s life, her life-saving work and the love of her life, Patrick.
The Mass was concelebrated by parish priest Fr Sean Hanafin; Fr Austin McNamara and Fr Denis Mullane, from the Limerick Diocese.
Fr Hanafin said there was huge shock in Ballybunion, Adare and Limerick when news of the horrific accident reached those communities on Good Friday and again on Easter Sunday to hear of Siobhán's death.
"We were shocked and saddened to the core. I feel like I am nearly imposing on your grief with my words - that is not my intention. I am just so aware that my words, nobody's words can in any way offer an explanation or can attempt to fill the void that has been caused by this huge grief," said Fr Hanafin.
Born in 1971, the parish priest said Siobhán attended the Convent Primary School before her secondary school education in Mount Trenchard where "lifelong friendships were made".
She went nursing in London before going to work in Dubai. On Siobhán’s return to Limerick, she initially worked in the ICU in UHL and then became the organ donor coordinator.
Fr Hanafan said Siobhán got married in Ballybunion on July 14, 2017. That joyous occasion in the same church was in stark contrast to today.
"Siobhán had met her soulmate to complete her life, Patrick. He tells me that they met in the Captain’s Bar in Glin eight years ago. Life changed for both of you. Ye began to dance to life together from then on," said Fr Hanafin.
At the end of the funeral Mass, Patrick spoke beautifully about his beautiful Siobhán. He said that night in the Captain’s Bar in Glin was when "my life changed for the best".
"Last Thursday night, we sat down and we agreed we had everything we wanted. I am honoured to be her husband and so proud of her amazing work and proud that even in death she has continued to help other people by donating her organs. Siobhán was my soulmate, the love of my life," said Patrick.
The final person to speak was Mary, Siobhán’s sister and "best friend". Mary said Siobhán adored Patrick.
"She loved him so very much. Everyone knows Siobhán was the happiest she had ever been. She loved their life together, her Whatsapp caption says, 'Living the dream'. She told a friend recently all the boxes in her life were ticked," said Mary. Last year, the couple moved into their "dream home" in Adare.
On Valentine’s Day, she said Patrick brought a home cooked dinner into ICU for Siobhán.
"On behalf of Patrick and all of us we thank Siobhán’s colleague and friends in UHL for their expert and tender care; for their kindness and compassion and for the love they showed to Siobhán and all of us on her last days. We pray for the recipients of the organs that they will live on with the verve, happiness and sense of fun that Siobhán had," said Mary.
Siobhán loved Irish history and was passionate about the 1916 Rising. Mary concluded by reading the poem, Lament for Thomas McDonagh by Francis Ledwidge.
So many lament the loss of Siobhán Shanahan (nee Brosnan).
May she rest in peace.