Michael Mahoney RIP
On January 13 2021, Kilkenny lost one of its finest. Michael Mahony, or Mick as he was affectionately known, passed away peacefully in Archersrath Nursing Home with family by his side. He was 64 years of age.
For the past eight years Mick had been living with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. This is a neurological illness affecting memory, comprehension, thinking and coordination and progresses in a cruel and unrelenting way to affect daily activities and functions.
Mick’s wife Claire and his children Ciara, Richard, Gavin and Shane cared for Mick at home for many years with the support of Mick’s brothers and sisters and under the guidance of the HSE Community Care Team.
Mick bore his illness bravely, always had a smile on his face and was always in good form. He never ever complained .
As his illness progressed, Mick had to go into a residential setting so he would receive the professional and expert care he deserved.
He was treated with the utmost respect and dignity and tended to with compassion and kindness by the nurses, carers and all the staff in Archersrath Nursing Home. Mick’s family cannot thank them enough for all they did for Mick during his time there.
Mick was never short of company in Archersrath as Claire, his children, his brothers and sisters and his friends visited numerous times each day to sit, chat, laugh and sing with him. He benefitted so much from all this interaction and it was clear he really enjoyed these visits.
However Covid took all this away and Mick, like so many other nursing home residents, was very much affected by the lack of stimulation and social engaging over the past year.
Mick trained as a Chartered Accountant and when qualified began work in St Francis Abbey Brewery and then in Diageo, Dublin. He loved his work and over the years formed many strong friendships both in Kilkenny and Dublin. He was a great motivator of staff, always encouraged them and was a great listener. Many of his former colleagues have expressed their sadness at Mick’s passing and have written many lovely letters to the family sharing memories of their time with him in Smithwick’s and in Guinness.
Mick was a real people person, always chatting and engaging, with no effort required. It was all so natural to him. He was a community man and was involved with many clubs during his lifetime.
He served as President of Kilkenny Rotary Club from 2005 to 2006 and loved to catch up with fellow members at their weekly lunch meetings in the Club House Hotel. The club kindly made him an Honorary Member in 2016, which pleased him greatly.
Mick loved the game of golf and enjoyed nothing better than a round with friends or family in Kilkenny Golf Club. He was involved on the club committees over the years and was Captain in 2011 which was a great honour for him.
One of Mick’s other great interests was hurling. He was involved in fundraising for O’Loughlin Gaels GAA Club and was a great supporter of the teams over the years, and enjoyed watching the matches on the sideline especially if his son Shane was playing.
Mick loved to play tennis with his friends or with Claire and played until his illness forced him to stop. He was a member of Kilkenny City and Lawn Tennis Club where he served on many committees and contributed to club development over the years.
Many of the tributes to Mick have related to his love of music. He liked nothing better than to play his guitar in the sunroom at home, or in the garden on a summer’s day with a beer by his side.
He and his friends played together regularly for many years and when Mick could no longer play, his friends came to his home in The Weir and played a few tunes for him there and continued to share Mick’s songs with him when he was in Archersrath. Mick would always try to sing along to the songs and tap his hand to the music and got great contentment from this. Above his bed in Archersrath was written “Music Speaks Where Words Fail”. A fitting sentiment to the power of music for those who are living with Alzheimer’s.
Mick fought ’til he could fight no more. His long journey is finally over and he is at peace now. Memories are all that remain - memories which will stay in the hearts of all who love him forever.