Monday, March 12, 2012

Nuala Vallely

Anyone attending fixtures in Casement Park over the years will have noticed a tall dark haired woman steward amongst the cohort of mainly middle aged men who look after everything from collecting admission money, marshalling the crowds, minding the players and match officials and looking out for everyones’ safety. They – volunteers all - do a great job in foul and fair weather, for big fixtures as well as tiny little ones.

The tall dark haired woman is Nuala Vallely. She died last week. Suddenly. She was forty one years of age. Nuala collapsed at work in the Upper Springfield Development Trust last Tuesday. Her family and friends, the people of West Belfast, her workmates and especially Belfast Gaels are in deep shock at the suddenness of Nuala’s death.

She was a very active member of Gort Na Mona GAC and a founder member of Gort’s camogie team. She also had a longstanding grá for Saint Agnes.

This blog agrees entirely with the sentiments of the statement from Gort na Mona which described Nuala as someone who epitomised everything that is good about the GAA. She was the backbone of Cumann Luthcleas Ghael and worked extremely hard – though she enjoyed it – for our community.

That was evident at her funeral. Neighbours strung bunting in the Antrim colours along Nuala’s street in Dermott Hill. Me thought that was a wonderful gesture and when we reached the offices of the Upper Springfield Trust there was a loud and sustained round of applause for this much loved woman.

She was also a wonderful mother to Rachel and a daughter, an aunt and a sister. This blog extends condolences and solidarity to all Nuala’s family but particularly to Rachel.

Eight people had the gift of a better life because Nuala had the generosity and foresight to become an organ donor. The rest of us could learn a lot from her example. Go ndeanfaidh Dia trocaire uirthi.

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