Tribute to Elizabeth O’ Riordan 1958-2013

It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the passing of Elizabeth O'Riordan, our secretary of Croabh Naomh Breandáin, on the 4th October 2013. Elizabeth had been a member of comhaltas for many many years and Elizabeth had kept the branch of Ardfert-Kilmoyley alive & well since it was re-established in 1995. Like all events that are sudden the branch had to pick up where our esteemed friend had left but the void she left was obviously for all to see.

Elizabeth had only lost her husband, Donal, six months previously. I remember  when she came to our enrolment night in September of that year we were delighted to have her back at the helm. She always knew what to do and to all of us in the branch and in the wider community she simply was Comhaltas. Indeed, as with many things in life it is not until a person is gone that we really appreciate just how much they did.

Elizabeth began as Treasurer of Ardfert - Kilmoyley Comhaltas in 1995 and moved onto Secretary in approximately 2000, a position she held until her sudden passing. She had a multitude of knowledge and experience, and I was honoured to have served with her as Chairperson for 10 years. The work she did behind the scenes was huge and her dedication to comhaltas and to the branch knew no bounds.

Elizabeth also oversaw the branch name change to Craobh Naomh Breandáin  in 2012 which encompassed the areas of Ardfert, Kilmoyley, Spa, Fenit and Ballyheigue. It was mainly her vision which noticed the need for this name change as she noticed a change of demographic for a lot of our members in the years preceding this and, in consultation with the county board she instigated this renaming to strengthen  comhaltas in the area.

I have many fond memories of my time on the committee with Elizabeth. The most vivid being that for many years she would state at the AGM that this was her final year! Something which would bring a smile to all our faces as we knew this would never come to pass!! Unfortunately for us the 4th of October 2013 was the night when this did indeed come to pass. It was then, as we tried to continue with the branch to honour her memory, we were aware of what she had done for many years.

All who knew Elizabeth will have their memories of her & we know how proud she would be, presently, that the branch is involved in co-hosting Fleadh Cheoil Chiarrai 2016.

Ar Dheis De go raibh a Anam