Monday, November 7, 2016

Bernard O'Leary OP

In the Dominican liturgical calendar, today is the feast of all Dominican saints.

Today is also the anniversary of the death of Sebastian Casey, who died in Tralee in 1993; Bernard O'Leary, who died in Cork in 2002 and Conor O'Riordan, who died in Dundalk in 2012.

I had the good fortune to live with Bernard in Cork for a number of years. In my years as a Dominican Bernard is one of the very special people I had the good fortune to know.

Bernard was the kindnest of men, would do anything for anyone. He had an amazing sense of humour and always had scant regard for silly rules and nonsensical customs.

Certainly eccentric. A clever man, who knew humbug when he saw it.

He was a member of a gifted family: his relatives included a university professor of mathematics and a manager of a Dubin Bus depot.

His father was a renowned CIE locomotive driver. He was so highly regarded that when he reached retirement age he was asked to continue working as a driver. Something unheard of at the time.

Bernard was born in South Kerry, his mother dying when he was a baby, maybe at his birth.

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