The death has occurred of Michael (Joe) Tyrrell, formerly of Kennyswell and St John’s Villas Lower Grange, Waterford.
Aged 87, he passed away peacefully at Waterford Regional Hospital on April 28 following a long illness.
Joe was the eldest of five children to the late Martin and Gertrude (nee Ellis) Tyrrell and the family set up their home in Stephen Street before moving to St Theresa’s terrace, Kilkenny in 1949.
He began his education at De La Salle primary school in Patrick Street and completed his education at Kilkenny CBS.
When he left school, Joe joined the Irish Army in 1941 and was based in the Curragh camp in the Engineer’s corp, and also for a time at Connolly Barracks Dublin until 1945. On returning to Kilkenny, he embarked on a career in Psychiatric Nursing at St Canice’s Hospital and this choice of career became his true vocation in life. He then moved to St Brendan’s Hospital Grangegorman Dublin in 1949.
He returned to St Canice’s Hospital in 1957, met Mary Cantwell from Leggetsrath and they married in St John’s Church in August 1960.
Over the years, they reared seven children .
Joe’s career path then took him to St Davenet’s Hospital in Monaghan in 1964 where he took up the post of Chief Nursing Officer , a unique achievement at the time given his young age. In October 1966, he took up the post of Chief Nursing officer in St Otteran’s Hospital Waterford where he worked for many happy years until his retirement in 1983.
A keen sportsman in his younger days, he hurled for the now defunct Eire Og club in Kilkenny and also enjoyed playing rugby, boxing and billiards. During his time in Dublin, he hurled for St Brendan’s where he won junior and intermediate titles.
He also played for Faugh’s club in Dublin and played full forward for the Dublin team in 1952 and 1953. Throughout his life Joe was immensely proud of his roots as a ‘Kilkenny Cat’ and had a great interest in the fortunes of the Black and Amber.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife Mary in April 2007, his parents Martin and Gertrude, and his brother Billy (Kilkenny) in 1991, his sister Rita Mc Allister (Essex) in 2005.
Joe is survived by his sons Martin, Mark and Pat and daughters Joanne 0’ Beirne, Emer Denn, Fiona Reidy, Ciara 0’ Connor, his two sisters Gertie Quinlan and Claire Donnelly, as well as many other relatives including his 20 grandchildren — who he loved with great affection.
Joe’s requiem mass was celebrated on May 2 before a private cremation at the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy in County Cork.
Later, Joe’s ashes were interred beside his wife Mary in Carbally new cemetery Tramore.