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16/10/2021

Obituary: Ruth Butler, Kilkenny and KASA

Devoted mother, she was a loving and caring friend

KILKENNY

The late Ruth Butler

As we in KASA prepare to welcome a new manager, it seems only fitting that we pay tribute and remember fondly Ruth Butler who managed the centre for the last 12 years. Ruth sadly passed away on March 26 last following a short illness.

Long before Ruth took over KASA as manager she had, year after year, raised funds for the centre by organising the annual flag-day collection and raised much-needed funds for what was then known as the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre. She also organised many a bus for a growing ‘troop of friends’ to walk/run the Ladies Mini-Marathon in aid of the Centre – it was also a good excuse for some to have a night out in Dublin!

Ruth was absolutely passionate about this cause and saw the huge need for victim support that was being offered by the Centre.

In 2009, the opportunity arose for Ruth to take over the management of the centre and, for the last 12 years she brought KASA from strength to strength bringing her wide range of skills and her unique personality to the centre.

Born in Scotland, Ruth worked as financial controller in the Trust House Forte group of hotels.

It was while working in Edinburgh that she met her husband, Tipperary man, Richard, in 1976.

She visited Ireland for the first time in 1977 to meet Richard’s family and attend a wedding. They married in Edinburgh on March 17, 1978 and from then on she devoted herself almost entirely to raising her four children Martin, Kate, Fiona and Anne.

Following many postings in the UK, Richard and Ruth came to Ireland in October 1980 and following a spell in Dublin and Ennis with THF they moved to Kilkenny in April 1985 where Richard managed Hotel Kilkenny - they have lived and raised their family in Kilkenny since then.

We in KASA were always aware of the importance of family for Ruth and she was immensely proud of all her children’s achievements. The family values that she passed on to them: open, communication, care and respect for others, a sense of humour and sharp wit were the values that Ruth brought to KASA.

Always highly organised, Ruth set about managing the Centre in the same caring way she has raised her family and we, in KASA, became her second family. Those who came to the Centre looking for help were treated with that same care and respect and being the first person they would have met, they were made to feel comfortable, at ease.

One of Ruth’s proudest achievements as manager of KASA was the reintroduction of the Say It programme for Transition Year students that she redeveloped and delivered with her counsellor colleague, Geraldine. The number of schools who actively sought this programme grew over the years. Provided free to schools, it made a very positive impact on those students to whom it was delivered.

Ruth was also the public face of the centre and her many interviews on KCLR and other radio stations and the manner in which she delivered her comments or answered questions was always done with great dignity. She was always fully aware of those for whom she spoke, those who were not able to speak for themselves.

For us in KASA, we have lost a great manager, a loving, caring friend, a positive and energetic force whose main focus was always to help those who were so vulnerable that they were not able to help or represent themselves.

While our loss is great, it is for Richard, Martin, Kate, Fiona, Anne; her daughter-in-law Johanna; her sons-in-law David, Julian, Shane; not to mention her six beloved grandchildren, Emma, Andrew, James, Matthew, Ben, Aoife; her sisters-in-law Mary B and Mary O; the extended Butler and Wood families that the loss is greatest. The arrival of her seventh grandchild was much anticipated by Ruth with great joy but sadly she did not live to see Jack. We feel certain he will be well looked after by a loving granny in Heaven.

Ruth’s ashes were laid to rest in Foulkstown Cemetery recently. Following the prayers by the graveside, Martin read a poem from her fellow Scotsman, Robbie Burns. It encapsulates all that Ruth meant to us:
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile!
May her gentle caring soul rest in peace.

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