Obituaries 2016: The famous, much-loved and notorious people that bade us farewell
Life & Style

Obituaries 2016: The famous, much-loved and notorious people that bade us farewell

WE look back on some of the Irish people  - or those associated with Ireland  - who we bade farewell to in 2016. Some well-known faces, some perhaps not so familiar, some whose work was invaluable to the community, and some who were, quite frankly, notorious rather than famous. 

Caroline Aherne

Born Ealing, London December 24, 1963

Caroline Aherne was an award-winning comedian, actor and writer, best known for her role as chat show host Mrs Merton and for co-writing and appearing in The Royle Family sitcom. Her parents were Irish (her father was a railway worker), and the family moved to Manchester when Caroline was two.

Caroline Aherne died of cancer, July 2, aged 52.

Advertisement

Minister Peter Barry (far right) pictured at the Anglo Irish (Picture: Keystone/Getty Images) Minister Peter Barry (far right) pictured at the Anglo-Irish negotiations (Picture: Keystone/Getty Images)

Peter Barry

Born Blackrock, Co. Cork, August 10, 1928

Peter Barry was a Fine Gael politician and businessman serving as a TD from 1969 to 1997, and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1982 to 1987. He helped negotiate the Anglo-Irish Agreement.

Peter Barry died on August 26, aged 88

Father Bill Boyd

Advertisement

Born Belfast

Father Bill Boyd was the longest-serving military chaplain in the British forces when he retired in 2008, following 38 years of continuous service to the Nato community at joint headquarters, Rheindahlen. Prior to his military career he spent many years serving the Catholic community in Gloucestershire.

Father Boyd died in September aged 98.

Ray Brady

Born Dublin, June 3, 1937

Ray Brady was an international footballer who played in England in the late 1950s and early 1960s with Millwall and Queens Park Rangers.

His brother Pat played for Millwall from 1959 until he too joined QPR in 1963. Brady won six full caps for the Republic of Ireland in 1963 and 1964.

Advertisement

He died on 15 November 15, 2016 aged 79.

Robert McFaul Campbell

Born Belfast, September 13, 1956

Robert McFaul 'Bobby' Campbell was a Northern Irish international footballer who played as a centre forward. His club career included stints with Aston Villa, Sheffield, and Bradford City — with the latter he made over 300 appearances, becoming the club’s all time leading goalscorer with a total of 143 goals.

He subsequently ran a working men’s club in Huddersfield.

Campbell died in Huddersfield on November 15, aged 60.

Pádraig Duggan

Advertisement

Born Donegal, January 23, 1949

Pádraig Duggan was a founding member of the band Clannad. He was a singer and played guitar, mandolin and mandola.

Pádraig Duggan died on August 9, aged 67.

Ray Fitzwalter

Born Bury, Lancashire, February 21, 1944

Ray Fitzwalter, a TV journalist, will always be identified with the Birmingham Six case. His colleague Ian McBride told the BBC: “If it hadn’t been for Ray Fitzwalter, the Birmingham Six would have died in jail. That’s the simple truth of it.”

He was the longest serving editor of Granada Television’s World in Action, having gone straight from a career in local newspapers.

Advertisement

Ray Fitzwalter died April 4, aged 72.

Anthony Foley

Born Murroe, Co. Limerick October 30, 1973

International rugby player and coach Anthony Foley began his sporting life playing Gaelic football and hurling before embarking on a career in rugby. He won 62 caps for Ireland and 202 for Munster.

Anthony Foley died on October 16, aged 42.

Maurice Gaffney

Born Co. Meath, October 11, 1916

Advertisement

At the age of 100 Maurice Gaffney was still practising law at the bar. He was, in short, the oldest and longest working barrister in these islands, and probably all of Europe. He prided himself on being an expert on railway law.

Maurice Gaffney died on November 3, aged 100.

Mary Gallagher O’Rourke

Born Dublin, 1940

Mary Gallagher O’Rourke was the outstanding Irish violinist of her generation. She gained international as a soloist, and excelled as an orchestral leader in Ireland and Britain.

She died in August aged 76.

Advertisement
Gerald Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster pictured with Prince Charles (Picture: Dave Thompson - WPA Pool/Getty Images) Gerald Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster pictured with Prince Charles (Picture: Dave Thompson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster

Born Omagh, Co. Tyrone, December 1951

One of the richest men in Britain, the Duke of Westminster owned some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

He was brought up on a farm on the island of Ely on Lough Erne, and in later life lamented the fact that the accident of inheritance had taken him away from the placid life of an Ulster beef farmer.

He had a long military career in the British Army, reaching the rank of Major General in the North Irish Horse.

The Duke of Westminster died August 9 aged 64 of a heart attack.

Advertisement

Aidan Hennigan

Born Ballina, 1925

Former Irish Press London Editor Aidan Hennigan reported on Anglo-Irish affairs over four decades.

The bulk of his career was spent in London where he covered a period coinciding with a time of heavy Irish immigration to Britain, as well as the Troubles.

He died aged 90 on October 21.

Frank Kelly

Born Blackrock, Co. Dublin, December 28, 1938

Advertisement

Born Francis O'Kelly, Frank was an actor, singer and writer whose career encompassed television, radio, theatre, music, screenwriting and film.

He was best known as the portrayer of the appalling priest Father Jack in Father Ted.

His other notable roles were in The Italian Job (1969) alongside Michael Caine, and as the father of Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) in Evelyn. He also portrayed Labour Leader John Smith in The Deal.

Frank Kelly died of a heart attack aged 77, on February 28.

Khalid Kelly

Born Terence Edward Kelly in The Liberties, Dublin in 1967 (exact date unknown)

Kelly converted to Islam after being jailed in Saudi Arabia for making and transporting whiskey. He was radicalised and joined Islamic State.

Advertisement

He died in Mosul in November 2016 after blowing himself up in a suicide bomb. He was 48 or 49.

Bap Kennedy

Born Belfast, June 17, 1962

The older brother of Brian Kennedy, singer songwriter Bap was Energy Orchard’s front man. After leaving the band he collaborated with many acts including Steve Earle, Van Morrison, Shane MacGowan and Mark Knopfler.

Kennedy died of cancer on November 1, 2016 aged 54.

Joe Lennon

Born Poyntzpass, Co. Down, November 23, 1935

Advertisement

Joe Lennon captained Down to their All-Ireland title in 1968. He was associated with the GAA club for three decades.

He died on November 2016, aged 81 in Gormanston, Co. Meath.

Catríona Lucas, member of the Irish Coast Guard Service (Picture: Photocall Ireland) Catríona Lucas, member of the Irish Coast Guard Service (Picture: Photocall Ireland)

Caitríona Lucas

Born Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, June 18, 1975

Caitríona Rós Lucas, a librarian and mother-of-two, was a volunteer in the Irish Coast Guard unit based at Doolin, Co. Clare.

Advertisement

In September she became the first member of the Irish Coast Guard to die on active service when her boat capsized.

The unit had been searching for a missing man off the coast of Kilkee.

She died on September 12, 2016 aged 41

Maria McCormack

Born Sydney

Maria McCormack was born in Australia, but spent most of her childhood in Newcastle, Co. Down.

A bass player in the all-female rock band Sleek, she was also a dancer at the Windmill Theatre in Soho and a librarian in High Wycombe.

Advertisement

She died of pneumonia aged 61.

Bryan Maguire

Born Cambridge

Bryan Maguire QC was born to working class Irish immigrants in Cambridge, where his founded a civil engineering company.

As a lawyer Maguire was instrumental in many of the changes and developments in public law in recent years, particularly in the fields of social housing and adult and children’s services.

Bryan Maguire died in 2016 aged 57.

Advertisement
Patrick Mayhew (right) greets Senator George Mitchell in Belfast (Picture: Alan Lewis/AFP/Getty Images) Patrick Mayhew (right) greets Senator George Mitchell in Belfast (Picture: Alan Lewis/AFP/Getty Images)

Lord Patrick Mayhew

Born September 11, 1929

Patrick Mayhew was the longest-serving Northern Secretary. From Irish Protestant stock in Co. Cork, he became the first secretary of state to meet the Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams (in 1995).

This did not immediately bear fruit but led to further contact, eventually leading to the Good Friday Agreement.

Patrick Mayhew died June 25, 2016 aged 85 after suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.

John Montague

Advertisement

Born New York, February 28, 1929

Poet and academic John Montague was born in New York and brought up in Tyrone by his aunts.

In The Rough Field he wrote as spokesman for his people, the Ulster Catholics. In 1998 he became the first occupant of the Ireland Chair of Poetry, de facto Ireland's poet laureate.

John Montague died on December 10, aged 87.

Colin O’Brien

Born Clerkenwell, May 8, 1940

O’Brien was a photographer who began documenting everyday, working-class life in London in the 1950s. His archive of around half a million negatives is regarded as a unique visual record of the changing nature of London over the past 60 years.

Advertisement

He was a friend of Ballyhaunnis-born writer Bill Naughton, and one of his black and white photographs was used on the cover of the first edition of Naughton’s Alfie in 1966.

Colin O’Brien died August 19, aged 76.

Anne O’Keefe

Born Cork, July, 1941

Anne O’Keefe was a pioneer in the promotion of Irish artisan food. She played a key role in bringing the products of local cheese-makers, bakers, farmers, fishermen and other producers to a national and international market.

Anne O’Keefe died on October 20.

Bishop John C. O’Riordan, Bishop of the Diocese of Kenema, Sierra Leone

Advertisement

Born Effin, Co. Limerick, January 6, 1924

Bishop O’Riordan O'Riordan was ordained a priest in June 1952 for the Holy Ghost Fathers. He was appointed bishop of the Diocese of Kenema on 4 June 1984.

He died in Sierra Leone on November 22, aged 92.

Louis Stewart

Born Waterford, January 5, 1944

Louis Stewart was one of the most respected jazz guitarists in the world has been labelled one of the all-time greats in jazz.

His career began in Dublin when he played with showbands, but he soon moved to London where he played with the likes of Benny Goodman and George Shearing.

Advertisement

He subsequently returned to Dublin where he remained until his death.

Louis Stewart died on August 20, aged 72, from cancer.

6 NOV 1993: Walter Swinburn aboard Sayyedati, trained by Clive Brittain after the $1,000,000 1993 Breeders Cup Sprint at Santa Anita race track, Arcadia, CA. Mandatory Credit: J.D. Cuban/ALLSPORT Jockey and trainer Walter Swinburn (Picture: J.D. Cuban/Allsport/Gett Images)

Walter Swinburn

Born Oxford, August 7, 1961

Jockey and trainer Walter Swinburn was a three times winner of the Derby whose mounts included Shergar who he rode to victory at the Derby in 1981. His first winner was on Paddy’s Luck July 12, 1978.

Advertisement

He was the son of Wally Swinburn who won the Irish flat racing Champion Jockey title in 1976 and 1977.

He died on December 12, 2016aged 55.

Short story writer and novelist William Trevor (Picture: Getty Images) Short story writer and novelist William Trevor (Picture: Getty Images)

William Trevor

Born Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, May 24, 1928

William Trevor KBE was a novelist, playwright and short story writer, and widely regarded as one of the finest contemporary English language writers, particularly in the short story genre.

Advertisement

He was nominated for the Booker Prize (now the Man Booker) five times, but never won it. He lived, since the 1950s, in Devon.

William Trevor died in Devon on November 20, aged 88.

Maureen Ward

Born Abbeyleix, Co. Laois

Born Maire Molloy, her family moved to London by 1928 as her father could find no work at home.

Maire Molloy went to school at the Sacred Heart school, Hammersmith before graduating at King’s College London.

She was initially a teacher then became a senior civil servant working with Aneurin Bevan on postwar housing

Advertisement

She died aged 97.

Sir Terry Wogan — broadcaster, charity worker and Eurovision guru (Picture: RollingNews.ie / Photocall Ireland) Sir Terry Wogan — broadcaster, charity worker and Eurovision guru (Picture: RollingNews.ie / Photocall Ireland)

Terry Wogan

Born Limerick, August 3, 1938

Radio broadcaster, chat show host and television presenter, at the height of his fame Terry Wogan was one of the best known faces in Britain.

Partly through his efforts, the charity Children in Need raised millions of pounds.

Advertisement

Terry Wogan died of cancer, aged 77 on January 31.