Noel Desmond Kelly. Formally Ó Ceallaigh.

22nd Dec. 1936 - 6th March 2015. aged 79.

TURRIS FORTIS MIHI DEUS. Our family motto.

GOD IS A TOWER OF STRENGTH TO ME. Supposedly the last word said by Teigh Mor Ó Ceallaigh at the battle of Clontarf 1014. HE was well called upon for strength in the last few weeks.

Our family has been hit by a Tsunami. Firstly the death of my wife Maura (aka Rommel) followed then a little over a fortnight later by Noel.

As a family we are bonded by many characteristics, but today we are bonded by grief.

….but grief in time will turn to sorrow

… and sorrow in time will turn to sadness

… and sadness in time will turn to a little smile

… and that smile in time will turn to memories

… and those memories will bring us to magic days

… days of four spirited brothers playing in the ball ally

… playing cricket on the green in Inchicore where we were from

… the Christmas day when our mother, who was the local district midwife, delivered three children into the world, and still cooked the Christmas dinner for us

… Dad who was the genteelest of men who loved his four sons greatly

… the sadness when he died

… and Noel who was no more than a boy himself stepping up to the mark as a father to both Brian and I

… the toasted sandwiches on Saturday afternoon

… the trips to Brittas Bay

… later the sailing in Misty on the Irish sea

… sailing with his life long friend Gerry Moran on Lady Ruth before she sank,

… our search of Wicklow, and sometimes further afield for the best afternoon tea

… the childlike enjoyment we would get when demolishing cakes with real cream and jam and dainty little savouries - Hunters comes out the best

… his love and knowledge of Irish military history

… the years we spent together researching our own family history, not always agreeing on how it should be done, but never falling out

… our excitement when aspects of our family history were confirmed

… our disappointment when otherwise

… the amazing ancestors we discovered - The Revd Thomas Kelly, a dissenting protestant minister

… our relationship to an ancient Irish King

… what a journey Noel and can I ask you while your there ‘any sign of Rommel? no not yet, ah sure she will be late for the resurrection, as Dad used to say about Mum.

… and in time these memories will turn to Peace and understanding

Hasten the hour.

Joe. March 2015