Community giant Maurice McConnell passes away

Maurice McConnell, one of the founder members of Tallaght Community Council and a much loved positive force in Tallaght, died on Monday following a short illness.

TCC today released a statement and beautiful tribute expressing their sorrow at his passing.

“Tallaght Community Council is deeply sadden to announce that one of our founder members, Maurice McConnell of Old Bawn, passed away peacefully after a short illness in Tallaght hospital surrounded by his family on Monday, 28th of August, 2017.

“We offer our deepest condolences to all his children, Damien, Ciaran, Donal, Fintan, Padraig and Tony, and his daughter Aoife, his surviving siblings and his beloved grandchildren.

“Maurice was a gentle giant, who deeply believed in the power of giving – giving to others to create a positive community network and to Improve society around him.

“He was originally from Drimnagh and his love for sports was played out early in Good Counsel who he hurled for. That energy and commitment soon moved to Tallaght.

“Maurice had a compelling sense of duty, a deep value for creating a connected community and an unending spirit of voluntary giving which shaped his professional career with Dublin Fire Brigade but also his family life and passions outside work in his developing community giving in his new hometown of Tallaght.”

Maurice moved to Tallaght with his wife Terry, when it was growing fast with large housing development.

Lots of people, but few amenities or services to sustain the fast growing community. This era saw many community minded residents step forward and create teams, clubs, societies and support groups in this vacuum to create the necessary foundation for the emerging city of Tallaght.

Maurice quickly found a home for his passions and became a giant, positive community force in Tallaght – when it needed it most.

Maurice played a key role in setting up many positive community amenities & organisations in the 70s & 80s – Old Bawn Residents Association, Old Bawn Youth Club, Tallaght Community Council and Tallaght Person of the Year award.

Maurice was not only instrumental in the creation of many community groups, but sustained his commitment over decades ensuring many survive until today e.g Tallaght Person of the Year Awards now in its 34th year.

Jim Lawlor, Seskin View,  former TCC chair and now Honorary President, was honoured by TCC last year with Maurice for volunteering for over 90 years combined in Tallaght between them. A huge feet in any community or anyone’s life.

“Maurice was one of the unsung heroes of Tallaght, one of the quiet many who invested their time and energy into creating a community network in Tallaght, at at time when amenities were sadly missing – and which made a huge difference to a large number of families.

He was modest, never sought the personal limelight – his goal was just a positive community to live in. Maurice was a straight talker, had a wicked sense of humour, and was very kind to people in his decades of living and volunteering in Tallaght.”

TCC are delighted to have formally honoured these community giants in 2016. A recognition that made both immensely proud.

Jim Lawlor of New Bawn, who has known Maurice for 47 years, also remembers in the 1980’s that Maurice came up with the idea of the Old Bawn Youth Club and the Old Bawn Residents Association. They also both gave commitment in running also community dances in Oldbawn.

The current TCC committee are deeply saddened at the loss of a deeply engaged and committed member who gave an enormous amount in his five decades of volunteering.

The current TCC chair, Gerry Stockil said,

“We are privileged to have known Maurice, shared time with him, learned from his rich experience, seen his unwaivering commitment to others and called him a friend.

“He was so pleased with the recent creation of the village festival Tallafest and the regeneration of Tallaght Person of the Year in the last decade.

“We will honour his memory and commitment by driving  these community events forward with the energy Maurice showed in spades for decades.”

Maurice is reposing in Tallaght village on Thursday and being buried on Friday from his parish of St Dominics at 11 am.

TCC will honouring Maurice’s huge voluntary contribution to Tallaght by naming the Tallaght Person of the Year’s Youth Award, The Maurice McConnell Youth Award from this November, as a perpetual recognition to Maurice.

Tara De Buitlear, TCC PRO says of the award,

“His huge contribution to Tallaght is so deserving of formal recognition and we are delighted to name an award in his honour.  Maurice was a vital cog in the community machine for decades and now others who work to encourage and inspire young people as he did, will be recognised in his name.”

AR dheis Dé go raibh a anam.  Rath Dé air sna flaithis