Sean O’Brien … 28/7/1991-17/10/2010

Sean died suddenly and unexpectedly yesterday morning, possibly on account of a heart condition that nobody knew about. He was a lovely young man in every way, and will be sadly missed by a great many people. Everyone he ever met was his friend.

We love him, and we always will. RIP, Sean.



Filed under Death

84 responses to “Sean O’Brien … 28/7/1991-17/10/2010

  1. Marya

    I cannot find the words, Brendano, but my thoughts and my prayers are for you all at this distressing time.

    Marya x

  2. JM

    This is very sad news indeed, Brendan. I do wish you comfort at this terrible time. May Sean rest in peace.

  3. maidorleans

    May Sean rest in peace.
    my condoleances

  4. help ma boab

    This is very sad.

  5. Sincere condolences, Brendan.

  6. Peter

    Such a tragedy, my thoughts are with you.

  7. boadicea

    My sincerest sympathies to both you and your wife.

  8. cropper

    To Sean I say Requiescat in pace. To you and your family I say Deus Vobiscum.

  9. Katie


    I had hoped against hope that this was one of those awful spoofs we have seen on Myt about two bloggers in the past.

    As others are taking this news seriously, I can only take it as a true , what a devastating tragedy for you all.

    I am so sorry….. no parent should ever have to go through the pain you will be feeling.

    I sincerely hope you will find some comfort from the memories of the years you shared with Sean.

  10. Lao

    my thoughts and words are somehow not enough.

  11. Rosie

    I echo katie’s words, my sincere condolences.

  12. Nobby

    Just to say I have read what must be your saddest ever blog.

    Peace be with Sean. And, may peace also be with you and your family, Brendan.

  13. Ike Jakson


    I have only just heard from Araminta that your Post was about your son. I had no idea.

    We will pray that God be with you in this hour.

  14. tocino

    That is shocking news Brendan. May I offer my sincere condolences to you and your family.

  15. Pseu

    I saw something on Boa’s Chariot and came over. I’m so sorry, Brendano for this awful loss, unexpected and painful. So shocking, the reality probably hasn’t yet sunk in.

  16. Soutie

    Goodness me, this is awful news.

    My wife’s first reaction was ‘oh no, what can you say?’

    Brendan, she’s right, what can we say, words cannot express how I’m feeling right now. You and your family will be in our thoughts over the next couple of days, go well, God bless.

  17. Brendan,

    I am saddened to hear of this. My condolences to you and your family.


  18. Brendano, my condolences. Most shocking and saddening news. God bless.

  19. Janus

    Brendan, I am so sorry to learn of this. My condolences and RIP, Sean.

  20. My sincere condolences.

  21. O Zangado

    Brendano – I too saw this on The Chariot and it goes far beyond any ‘issues’ you and I have had in the past. My most sincere abd heartfelt respects to you and to your family.


  22. jaimeatdnmyt

    I am so so sorry, Brendan. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  23. Cymbeline

    Your son and my elder son were born in the same year, just a month apart.

    Thank you for the photograph. I am struck by the light and warmth in Sean’s eyes.

    This family grieves for yours.


  24. Marya

    Thank you for the photographs,Brendan … Sean’s bright and loving spirit lives on.

  25. christinaosborne

    You have my sincerest empathy.

    At least he did not suffer as you and your family will, for than one has to be grateful.

    • Cymbeline

      Hello Mrs Osborne. How deeply and truly kind you are. I know that your boy suffered terribly.

      Arglwydd, dyma fi,
      Ar dy alwad Di,
      Canna f’enaid yn y gwaed
      A gaed ar Galfari.

  26. papaguinea

    Brendano, I’m gutted for you. I can see from your last blog that you had both been watching rugby games together in recent days, and you wife and daughter away. God it is awful news. I pray you and your family are given strength to bear this as best you can. Looking at Sean’s face it is easy to see why anyone would befriend him, as his face befriends others. May he live and be loved eternally.

  27. sheona

    Our deepest sympathy to you and your family, Brendano.

  28. Cymbeline

    Thank you for the other photographs.

    A loved boy, full of life and nearly twenty, forever.

  29. Thank you for the photographs, Brendan.

    The first one you published is just beautiful.
    I agree with Cymbeline about Sean’s eyes, and Marya is quite right.

  30. Oh Brendan, what can I say? I can’t begin to imagine how you must be feeling.
    Love to you and yours.

  31. RIP Sean. May his light and laughter be with you forever, Brendano. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  32. Tony D


    Any words seem virtually pointless. Sean is also my son’s name and I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. The best I can do is hope that you get through this terrible time.


  33. Metin YILMAZ

    I was shocking while i reading Araminta’s blog. I cannot know what i say on this terrible event, the worst thing for the parents and you live it..My deeply condolences to you and your family. RIP SEAN.

  34. Shermeen

    Deeply sorry, Brendano. God bless you and your family and may Sean rest in peace. Ameen. I am reminded of his hauntingly beautiful photographs.

  35. Cheechdog

    Brendano, My heart goes out to you and your family.

    What a handsome young man he was, so full of life.

    It’s just not fair.

  36. Brendano what can I say?

    There really is nothing I can say that will help other than you have my deepest sympathy.

    Take my best wishes to you and all your family.

  37. TTM

    My dear friend, I am sorry to hear of this tragic event. No words can take away the pain however I hope you find at least some comfort in them.

    RIP Sean, God bless you!!!

  38. Brendano, dear, dear, Brendano. I’ve not been here for a few days. It was Ike Jakson who told me this terrible news. It frightens me because death does belong to people like Sean, of my generation, even younger than me: death belongs to those who have lived life; death belongs to the old, not to us: we are immortal. But we are not.

    There is nothing I can say that will comfort you, your wife and the rest of your family; indeed, it’s presumptuous of me to say anything at all, a stranger, a mere internet presence. But it’s in moments like this that each and every one of us, across generations, across nations and across all differences, feels solidarity at a simple human level. I can’t begin to understand your pain, I don’t want to understand it, but I feel so sad tonight, so sad for your tragic loss. All I can do is to offer some lines by my favourite poet;

    Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
    For those whom thou think’st thou dost over throw
    Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
    From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
    Much pleasure – then, from thee much more must flow;
    And soonest our best men with thee do go,
    Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.
    Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men,
    And dost with poison, war and sickness dwell;
    And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
    And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
    One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more. Death thou shalt die.

    With much love. Anastasia.

  39. JM

    Thank you for the photos, Brendan ; he’s a fine lad and (as Anna says) always will be.

    May you find consolations in the difficult time ahead.


  40. Squid

    I am so terribly sorry to hear about this, Brendano. You must be devastated – a blow straight to the heart. We are all so helpless before Fate, but know that even those of us who are only linked to you by electrons share your grief and will be thinking of you and your family as you come to terms with this awful loss.

  41. claire2

    Brendano, I don’t know what to say. I am so sorry. My condolences x

  42. Thanks very much for all the kind and lovely words. The past few days have been very strange, but we have had immense help and support from all our wonderful friends and neighbours. Hundreds of people have passed though out house; many have helped in significant practical ways. There are lots of people who would do anything for us.

    Sean’s body is in the house with us. Many of his friends were here last night … Sean had a huge number of friends, all of whom thought the world of him.

    We are all special in our own way, but Sean was especially special. My wife said to me last night that perhaps he lived life so fully because at some level he knew that it would not last long. He was greatly loved, and we were very proud of him.

    I have a picture of him in his rugby gear, aged 15, that I can’t upload here because it’s the wrong file type. He captioned it ‘me in england about 2 play swindon’, and indeed Sean would quite happily have taken on Swindon on his own, and would probably have given a good account of himself.

    My daughter’s boyfriend told us that Sean once approached him in a disco and said ‘Are you going out with my sister?’ He said ‘Yes,’ Sean said, ‘Treat her well. I love her.’ They then shook hands. There was no aggression on Sean’s part, just brotherly concern. He later assured me that the boy in question was ‘a straight shooter’ (as indeed he is). Sean was a good judge of people.

    When he was working behind a bar in Cavan during the recent Fleadh, complete strangers approached me and said, ‘Are you Sean’s dad?’ When I said ‘Yes,’ they would tell me that he was a fine young man, a gentleman, and a credit to his parents.

    I’ll write more about him in the future, no doubt. There are hundreds of stories about Sean. For now … thank you all again.

  43. Canary Islander

    Brendano – My sincere condolences.

  44. I will send a text offline when I am back from Northern Ireland. Greatly saddened at the news, I had the honour and pleasure of meeting Brendan twice, never got to see Sean and the rest of the family. Patterson has gone up in my estimation by paying respects. I shall try to log on later. “Shanghai”.

  45. Brendano – only just heard the news.
    As a father I can only too well imagine what you and your family must be going through – my condolences.

  46. AntB

    No words can contain the sentiments, Brendan, all strength to you and yours. My son is two months off Sean’s birthday, I now look at him differently in the shade of your sorrow.

    If I say “May the earth rest lightly upon him” I hope you might take it in the ancient sense.

  47. Brendan, I am pleased to hear you are inundated with kind friends and neighbours.

    Hardly surprising, you and your son have made friends and connections and of course they will rally round.

    There are some more comments here. I don’t know what happened, but I did promise that I would bring it to your attention.

    Love to hear more tales about Sean, when you feel you want to tell them.

    Love and best wishes,


  48. Cymbeline

    You have managed to download the ‘about 2 play swindon’ photograph. Determination as well as fun, warmth and light.

    I am thinking of Sean and your fa

  49. Cymbeline

    I am thinking of Sean and your family all the time.

    • Rainer the cabbie

      Me too Brendan. I guess we all share your pain. I hope you and your family will find a little ray of sunshine in the time to come.

  50. Hello Brendan
    Just to say I am thinking of you.

  51. Cymbeline

    His eyes take on the world. His eyes look into an inner world too. The black-and-white photograph is to do with great private intensity.

    No need for words.

  52. faywray

    You are in my heart and prayers. Can only imagine your pain.

    Your friend, Faywray

  53. Cymbeline

    I am going to ask a question that nobody has dared to ask.

    Is the beautiful woman kissing your son your wife?

    • Cymbeline

      No. Beautiful women are ageless, but she must be Sean’s girlfriend.

      I would like you to know that I have been thinking of this young lady too. I know that she was with you that weekend.

  54. Cymbeline

    People talk at such times, and I think that that is a very good thing. Let me tell you about a Welsh girl my family knew. As part of her degree, she went to France aged nineteen or twenty and fell in love with a French boy of the same age. Part of one’s education in both language and love! While in France, she stepped out of a car on the wrong side of the road, and she was killed. Just a girl.

    Although the French family had not known her for long, and although they knew that their son was very young, they recognized and honoured that love. They asked the Welsh family if she could be buried in their family tomb. The Welsh family said yes.

  55. Cymbeline

    Still talking, as one must. I have a boy here, the same age as Sean. Other children too. I squeeze their bodies and feel the luxury of their breath. But they could die tomorrow too. So could I.

    I have always known that. I am actually quite stark.

    • Cymbeline

      I have always been haunted by the human condition.

    • Cymbeline

      Brendano. Ages ago on MyT, I wrote a post about the bits of paper in my Bible. You know the sort of thing … hymns, cards that once accompanied bouquets, chopped bits of newspaper, cheap thoughts parading as inspiring thoughts etc. And then there was the piece by Samuel Beckett, who has basically ruined my life. I typed it out on MyT. Something about carrying on whatever.

      I quite like the idea of being a jihadist. It must be wonderful to have such certainty about heaven.

  56. papaguinea

    There is everything of Ireland in your boy. All that is good of Ireland is in your son. I would have been proud to have met him, but in a way, by the way you describe him, I think I have. Again I wish you and your wife every strength to bear this tragedy.

  57. Cymbeline

    Bref, as the French say, I have always been aware of the Greek Gods and the wild animals always ready to pounce.

    • Cymbeline

      What is the point of living?

      Ultimately, I have never understood the point of living.

      They really should do something about the British educational system.

  58. Cymbeline

    I have never accepted the zap from Zeus.

    And this is why I do not really enjoy my life.

  59. My thoughts are with you at the time of your loss.

  60. Many thanks for all the kind words. Thanks also to Cymbeline for the flowers, and to help ma boab for helping me post the rugby pic.

  61. So sorry, Brandan – we lost our daughter when she was 4 in 1985. Time does allow healing, but never all that effectively.

  62. sabina

    Just to say Brendano

    my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    As a cardiology nurse I have come across this sudden death syndrome ,as it is called,and have known at least two young men who died due to it.
    I sometime feel that all young people should be checked for this heart defect,
    May you find comfort and peace in all the offered good wishes and prayers.

  63. Again, thank you very much, Sabina.

  64. Badger

    Dear Brendan, I only just heard.

    I am so, so sorry. I cannot describe how sorry I am.

    You know me well enough to appreciate my sincerity.

    I really am at a loss for words to express my feelings for you and your family’s suffering from your grievous loss.

  65. Aileen Healy

    Brendan, Pauline and Susanna,

    We have just heard about your tragic news. Olivia, Andrew and myself are heartbroken for you. So many great memories of the kids playing together, going to the park, the parties. Words cannot express our sorrow.

    • Hi Aileen … thanks very much. We have been looking at a lot of old photos lately … there are quite a few with you and your family in them, as you can imagine. You were great neighbours.

      Olivia just rang and spoke to Pauline and Susanna. We have a framed photo on our wall of Sean and Olivia drawing pictures together at, I think, the National Gallery when they were small.

  66. Prema


    Today I visited your blog for the first time and, having spent the last half-an-hour glancing through the posts, am simply horrified to learn of the sudden death of your son. I can only imagine the depth of emotion your and your family must have experienced. Simply stunned, I feel as if my blood runs cold.

    My thoughts, and my love, are with you all, as I utter a prayer for Sean’s soul on its onward journey.

    Best wishes always


  67. Life can be a whirlwind at times, everything blissfully moves around, at such speed that only colours flash before your eyes. The joy. Then grey and black seep in and everything stops moving. Death freezes us, but the thaw will come. We will never forget the day, hour or moment. But we will learn to live with it.

  68. Thanks very much for this, Aoife Marie. Talk to you soon.

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