Covid Stories: Remembering lives lost in 32 counties

On the second anniversary of our world being struck down by Covid, we recall the lives of loved ones who fell victim to the virus in all 32 counties.

ere, we remember and pay tribute to those special lives lost.

Tributes will run in the pages of the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent this week. 

Antrim: Norman Wilkinson, 91, and Winnie Wilkinson, 92, died April 2020 

“With not being able to go over to Belfast, and not being able to hold any sort of memorial for them, it was all a bit surreal.”

Read Norman’s and Winnie’s story here.


Norman and Winnie Wilkinson in their younger years

Armagh: Tony Mitchell, 70, died April 25, 2020

“Our family is trying to come to terms with that. When you hear about Boris Johnson partying four weeks after daddy had died, I just didn’t believe it.”

Read Tony’s story here.


Tony Mitchell passed away three weeks after testing positive for Covid

Carlow: Dr Patrick Aylmer, 82, died December 26, 2020

“They rang and said he had just passed away an hour later. It was very quick, so at least he wasn’t in any pain. It’s just strange because it’s not natural that you’re not there and you don’t get to say goodbye.”

Read Patrick’s story here.


Father-of-five Dr Patrick Aylmer was predeceased by his wife Veronica

Cavan: Vincent Pilkington died November 25, 2020

“He left the house and he never came back,” said Vincent’s wife Teresa, who was unable to visit her husband before he passed away

Read Vincent’s story here.


Vincent Pilkington, who died from Covid in November 2020, held the world record for turkey plucking

Clare: Noel Walsh, 85, died April 29, 2020

“My mother Ursula often joked that she was a GAA widow, and in many respects that was true. He loved his job in the army, but he never went on a tour abroad because he loved the GAA even more.”

Read Noel’s story here.


Noel Walsh served three terms as Clare senior football manager

Cork: Seamus O’Connor, 59, died April 7, 2020

“It was so comforting to meet the team who treated him. They did their best for Seamus but unfortunately it was not to be.”

Read Seamus’ story here.


Seamus O’Connor (left), who died in April 2020, and his partner Eileen Finucane (right)

Derry: Samantha Willis, 35, died August 20, 2021

“I will make sure that Eviegrace will know all about the mother she will never meet.”

Read Samantha’s story here.


Care worker Samantha Willis, who died from Covid-19 in August, 2021

Donegal: Anna Laughlin, 94, died April 21, 2020

“When and where she got Covid-19 I still don’t know. All I know is that I last saw her on March 14 and she died from the virus on April 21.”

Read Anna’s story here.


Anna Laughlin was 94 when she died after contracting Covid

Down: Jemima George, 82, died October 17, 2020

“It was the horrible and cruel way that she was taken away from us [that hurt so much]. When the ambulance drove off, little did we know there would be no contact with her again.”

Read Jemima’s story.


Jemima George is fondly remembered as the heart and soul of her family

Dublin: Frank Halpin, 91, died April 7, 2020

“They wouldn’t let my two brothers or my sister in because they were over 60. In hindsight, I wish I had just gone over and held his hand.”

Read Frank’s story here.


Frank Halpin suffered two devastating losses in 2005, when his daughter Sandra and wife Evelyn passed away within one day of each other

Fermanagh: Basil Elliott, 79, died December 7, 2020

“Basil was my brother. I had been his main carer for years. People have been so dismissive of his death, and the deaths of others like him. A life is a life.”

Read Basil’s story here.


Anne Elliott with her brother Basil Elliott, who died in December 2020

Galway: Noel Burke, 78, died May 26, 2020

“My dad taught me so much from learning to tie my shoelaces and ride a bike to passing on important life messages such as ‘don’t take shortcuts in life’ and ‘trust has to be earned’.”

Read Noel’s story here.


Retired garda Noel Burke passed away on May 26, 2020

Kerry: Paul Doyle, 49, died August 10, 2021

“He has four daughters that he will never bring up the aisle and he will never teach his only son how to shave.”

Read Paul’s story here.


Paul Doyle was 49 when he passed away

Kildare: Frances Haskins, 63, died February 1, 2021 

 “If you were down she’d be the first person to cheer you up”

Read Frances’ story here.


Frances Haskins (left) died three weeks after her granddaughter Charlotte was born

Kilkenny: Catherine Whelan Hickey, 51, died April 15, 2020

“I knew the day she left that she wasn’t going to come back. I just had a gut feeling I’d never see her again.”

Read Catherine’s story here.


Catherine Whelan Hickey (51) from Kilkenny died on April 15, 2020 after becoming ill one week earlier

Laois: Alice Kennedy died April 1, 2020

“She started a choir, and it actually became fairly famous, and they did actually two songs with Foster and Allen and she was there singing with them.”

Read Alice’s story here.


Alice Kennedy died from Covid-19 in a London hospital on April 1, 2020

Leitrim: Barry Ward, 48, died May 12, 2020

“I’ve kept a small bit of his ashes and I say good night to him every night. I’ve a light lit for him and he’s always included in anything we talk about here.”

Read Barry’s story here.


The late Barry Ward from Carrigallen, Co Leitrim

Limerick: John Fitzgerald, 67, died January 27, 2021

“He was the most amazing grandfather; he and my little boy were the best of friends. When my son was born it just gave him a new lease of life. He was always the life and soul of a party.”

Read John’s story here.


John Fitzgerald’s extended family walked 15,000km to honour his legacy and raise funds for the hospital where he was cared for before passing away

Longford: Maureen Rowley, 84, died February 2, 2021

“If she had anything to tell you she’d tell you right between the eyes.”

Read Maureen’s story here.


Maureen Rowley passed away on February 2, 2021

Louth: Dominic McNally, 80, died April 16, 2020

“Straight after funeral we had to go to a Covid-19 test centre and then isolate for 14 days. We had the grief of losing our father and on top of that we had the worry of having Covid.”

Read Dominic’s story here.


The late Dominic McNally with his daughter

Mayo: Joseph Lennon, 84, died April 11, 2020

“Our funeral mass that should have celebrated a wonderful life well lived felt cold, hollow and empty.”

Read Joseph’s story here.


Joseph Lennon was one month away from his 85th birthday when he died

Meath: Ray Kelly, 70, died April 10, 2020

“The funeral was the hardest part. My brother David and his wife couldn’t even sit together and people ended up having to stand outside.”

Read Ray’s story here.


Ray Kelly died from Covid on April 10, 2020

Monaghan: Patrick McCarron, 89, died on April 5, 2020

‘It’s been two years but I still haven’t been able to fully take in that Granddad has died’

Read Patrick’s story here.


Pat McCarron passed away on April 5, 2020

Offaly: John “Bezzie” Glennon died October 27, 2021

“He had a huge number of friends and even if you went to the end of America, people would know his name”

Read John’s story here.


John Glennon was dedicated to Rhode GAA

Roscommon: Joyce McCahill, 79, died January 12, 2021

“Her other daughters were in England, so it was literally just my mum and my dad and our family here. Obviously, they couldn’t get over because they would have had to isolate.”

Read Joyce’s story here.


Joyce McCahill died on January 12, 2021, aged 79

Sligo: Alan Scanlon, 84, died December 15, 2021

“He was a great man for his age, he was a character, he loved life. Dad was a man of many trades, he was a bus driver, he was a security guard, he worked many trades. He was my best friend I’m lost without him.”

Read Alan’s story here.


Alan Scanlon passed away in his Sligo home last December

Tipperary: Eileen Landers, 67, died April 26 2020

“But she told me, ‘Now cleaners are really needed, why on Earth would I go off sick now, when I’m needed?’.”

Read Eileen’s story here.


Eileen Landers died at the Queen’s Hospital in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, the hospital where she had worked for over 16 years

Tyrone: Laurence Bell, 81, died February 11, 2021

“If he hadn’t taken Covid, he’d be doing well. He had a good few years ahead of him.”

Read Laurence’s story here.


Laurence Bell (left) and his brother James at a Tyrone game. Laurence passed away last year.

Waterford: Nigel Pim, 51, died January 14, 2021

“He will never ask if he can make me a cup of tea again. He will never be able to share his knowledge because he was so knowledgeable about accounts and everything.”

Read Nigel’s story here.


Nigel Pim was 51 when he died in 2021

Westmeath: Johnny Moran, 79, died December 1, 2021

“I used to see tears running down Johnny’s face looking at that, he felt so sorry for them (people in hospital with Covid), not knowing that it was going to happen to him. I feel blessed that I got to bring him home.”

Read Johnny’s story here.


Johnny Moran died last December, aged 79

Wexford: John Molloy, died December 23, 2020

“In normal times, St Aidan’s Cathedral in Enniscorthy would have been packed to the rafters so people could pay their respects to the gentleman that was ‘Johnny’. Instead, people were robbed of a proper chance to say goodbye.”

Read John’s story here.


John Molloy, who died of Covid-19 in Wexford Hospital on December 23, 2020

Wicklow: Mabel Moody, 78, died December 24 2020

“When the kids came home from school and saw her car, it would hardly have stopped and they were jumping out to get the first hug.”

Read Mabel’s story here.


Mabel Moody is survived by her five children and nine grandchildren Covid Stories: Remembering lives lost in 32 counties

Fry Electronics Team

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