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Saturday 15 November 2014

Ruaidhri O'Donnell, 1938-2014

Ruaidhri O'Donnell, was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1938, he had a twin brother, Colm and was an older brother to Frank.

When they were young, the brothers were sent to Donegal each summer where they became fluent Irish speakers and developed a great love of the language and culture of Ireland. Ruaidhri, with good University degrees behind him had a vast and varied career both in Ireland and Canada. He emigrated to Canada in 1969 where he eventually worked for the Canadian Revenue Agency.

He met and married Mary (nee Horne), they had a son Eamon.

Now, Ruaidhri possessed a wicked and clever wit which we enjoyed greatly. As a lifelong member of CCÉ Ireland he and Mary were intimately connected to CCÉ  Ottawa for over 20 years, serving on the Ottawa Branch executive for many years. One of his many (and an important) contribution was the arrangement of tables and chairs before, and putting them away after, for the ceilis. Which was very big undertaking in the days where CCÉ  Ottawa was at St Patrick's hall for years and years,  he continued with this activity when we moved to Blessed Sacrement Church Hall. However, later on his back began to give him trouble, and he could not do it anymore. He and Mary came to the ceillis and sat with friends near the back of hall enjoying the music.

Ruaidhri enjoyed the friendships with CCÉ members, but of late his illness kept them away. He will be sorely missed. 

Ruaidhri died on 30th October,  All Souls Day, he would have enjoyed the irony.

By Toni Forsythe

An obituary appeared in the Ottawa Citizen.
Many thanks to M. Maher and P. Cassidy for their candid shots of Ruaidhri. 

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