The late Phil O'Sullivan
Julia, Philomena O’Sullivan 10/12/1943 - 20/04/2019of Heathfield, Clogheen passed away at her beloved home at Easter time.
Julia, known to everyone as Phil, lived at Heathfield for 75 years. Her life revolved around the community of Clogheen where her regular walks were a constant that defied all climatic conditions. Hail, rain or snow never dimmed her determination and her constant outspoken words of friendship and curiosity, accompanied by her every-present handshake, endeared her to all.
One could be guaranteed to receive a gleaming smile and a mischievous wink as tokens of affection with the simplicity of a child,
The village life was her world; with The Vee Valley Day Care facility being the centre of Phil’s week and visits to St. Tereasa’s hospital where she visited patients whether she knew you or not and always kindly welcomed by the hospital staff.
How she would have loved to see the upcoming, upgrading work and new Palliative Care Suites opening at St. Tereasa’s Hospital.
How blessed for Clogheen to have these respite palliative care facilities on our doorstep with its medical centre.
Phil was very special to Dr. Durack, who was always, always, her advocate and later Dr. O’Reilly and her team and Maeve and John at the ‘pharmacy who were always most helpful.
Phil could never understand why the Post office closed in Clogheen… indeed she had visited every establishment over the years on a regular basis and regretted the closures of the bank, bakers, butcher and hotels personally as it reduced her social contact. For Phil, the Post Office and Margaret Moroney, was an institution and permanency that she relied upon.
Phil never got to visit Margaret in the post office in Ballyporeen and her integral understanding of village life was diminished.
The light of her life was Martin Moroney’s shop where she was welcomed for many years. The early morning conversation and community interactions set the tone for village life and a genuine spirit of togetherness embodied the values that are truly Irish and was the focus of many, “welcome homes” for returning emigrants.
Phil’s other regular destination was the XL Supermarket with Colm, Catherine and the staff who always showed respect and understanding and enhanced the friendly spirit that encourages a local industry so vital to the area. There was always a special salute for our local Garda Philly Ryan and thank god for his local presence.
Phil loved to be part of the religious ceremonies and in the later years both Fr. Pat and Fr. Bobby would have added a special blessing that embraced and encouraged her joyous nature and valued her child-like embodiment of life.
Barrack Hill was very special to Phil and although she greatly missed her friend Phil Landers, she made a great friend in Margaret at No.3 from England, where stories and tea were exchanged and enjoyed with great pleasure.
Phil was never defined by her special-needs… it was her spirit, her determination, good humour, independence and keen history of local people that propelled her as a well-known character in the community.
In her last year of illness, her true colours of strength and resilience inspired all those who were part of her care, from oncology to palliative care especially the South Tipp hospice nurses Suzanne and Mags.
The home help and skills of Ann, Bernie, Marissa and Siobhan were such a source of professional support but it was their kindness that brought Phil an extended community.
Her friend and companion Margaret O’Brien also enriched Phil’s life, with care, fun and social activity that was a gift to Phil at her time of dependency.
How blessed to have her final journey carried out with such ease and gentleness by Johnny Corbett who knew her all her life.
On a personal level her nieces and nephew Liam brought her great joy and evolvement and it was the McLoughlins and Tom and Hannah O’Gorman that brought great fun in the later years.
She is survived by her beloved Vera and family, Jimmy & Joan, Richie & Margaret and Anne and Carmel, who express their appreciation to the village and its wider community for the sense of fulfillment it brought to Phil.
She was laid to rest in Shanrahan graveyard where her family and neighbours are her companions overlooking the Knockmealdowns and Galtee Mountains and its historic ruins and river, home to swans and the nesting crows.
May a lovely walk that is Clogheen, Heathfield, Shanahan always fill you with the beauty, joy, safety and protection that was afforded to Phil for all those years. “In the arm of the Angels.”