Former FAI Chairman John Delaney now remembers his mother as a woman whose kindness made everyone feel special and who looked for the best in every situation.
oan Delaney died unexpectedly on Monday after suffering a stroke at home and her funeral was held today at St Michael’s Church in the town of Tipperary.
She is mourned by her husband Joe, children Joanne, John, Paul, Mary-Pat and Jane, brothers and extended family.
In a eulogy at the end of the funeral service, John Delaney said, “In May Natasha and I introduced her to her newest granddaughter, Josephine, and I’m glad we had the opportunity.”
He spoke emotionally of his mother, who was born in Cork in 1940 and grew up in Waterford before moving to Tipperary where she lived for more than 50 years.
He told how he was woken up in London from Sunday night to Monday morning to a lot of missed calls and the message was “the worst imaginable”. But he was later able to say a virtual goodbye as he joined other family members who were at her bedside.
He said Joan survived cancer twice in her life and fought it bravely and without complaint.
“She was a great mother to us, always there for us. A giver, not a taker. She gave so much and asked for nothing. She made everyone feel special with her kindness. She looked for the best in every situation. She was smart and she was intelligent and she wasn’t judgmental,” said Mr. Delaney.
“She loved each of us equally as children and grandchildren. No one has ever been left out. She was thoughtful and consistent, and she was loyal to the core. And she would defend us all as a lioness would defend her cubs.”
“The great Jack Charlton stayed once, but it didn’t matter who you were. If you were family friends, last boyfriend, last girlfriend, mom treated you the same way. That was her way. You never left hungry and problems were solved over a cup of tea and sandwiches.”
“She left a lasting impression on everyone she touched. She was a lady. She was in a different class,” he added, saying Joan is very funny and has a great sense of humor and is a great community person who supports every business, draw and lottery in the area.
“She had great sayings. A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved, everything passes, take it by the hour or by the day, your health is your wealth, there will be better days,” he explained.
Mr Delaney said that when she fell ill in the kitchen at home, she said: “Take care of papa,” whom she has known for almost 68 years, having met him at a party at his parents’ house when she was 15 .
“Of course I will miss her. She was always there for me. And for three months during Covid I stayed with them and did the messages. And now those days will mean a lot more to me than they did then. She was always just a phone call away. In May Natasha and I introduced her to her youngest granddaughter, Josephine, and I’m glad we had the opportunity. The last time I spoke to her was last Saturday,” he told the mourners.
Finally, he said Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson once told him that if he could go home for 24 hours and meet his mum and dad, he would give up everything he had done. Mr Delaney said he would do the same today to be back in Kilkee in Co Clare where he has fond memories of his childhood summer holidays.
Symbols of Joan Delaney’s life brought to the altar included a photograph of her and her husband Joe, a Kilkee sign, a small Christmas tree representing her love at this time of year and the family gatherings that surround it.
Joan’s husband Joe also spoke about his memories of meeting Joan and their life together in Tipperary.
After the Requiem Mass, Joan’s remains were taken to St. Michael’s Cemetery for burial.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/john-delaney-pays-tribute-at-mothers-funeral-she-was-a-lady-she-was-a-different-class-41890403.html John Delaney pays tribute at his mother’s funeral: “She was a lady. She was a different class’