Monthly Archives: January 2011

Country sunset

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Sean took these near our house one evening several years ago.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Photography

Sean and Gaelic football 3

Sean with Armagh Gaelic football star Oisin McConville - 2 January 2004

20/4/03 – Pauline and I had a four-mile walk, ‘around the block’ – the kids went ahead on their bikes, Sean and I having mended his puncture. On the way, Sean’s Gaelic football trainer, Dennis Nolan, stopped to check Sean’s availability for a match on Tuesday – he says that Sean is ‘making a difference’ to the under-12 team.

22/4/03 – Sean had an away under-12 football match at Ballymachugh – his team won and he scored another goal, so he was very pleased.

6/5/03 – Sean played a Gaelic football match, against Arva, which his team lost – he didn’t score this time.

12/5/03 – Sean had an away match against Knockbride – Munterconnaught lost and he didn’t score, although he hit the post.

27/5/03 – Sean played in the Cavan under-12 quarter-final – Munterconnaught lost narrowly, to his huge disappointment. Continue reading


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Sean’s world 7

One house in particular was a home from home for Sean. It’s a few miles from here, and out in the country like ours. We used to drop him there and collect him a lot; when I look back at my diaries I see that he often walked or cycled there when he was 11 or 12.

Sean got friendly with Robert and Martin, two brothers, at primary school. Their parents, Sarah and Graham, had moved to Ireland from Lancashire some years previously. (I won’t mention surnames because of the nature of the Internet.)

Martin continued to be one of Sean’s very best friends right to the end of his life. It was Martin that drove Sean and Clio here late on the night of Friday, 15 October, and Martin was one of the first at our house when the bad news broke on the Sunday morning. Continue reading


Filed under Ireland, Memories, The music of what happened

Sunset on Lough Ramor

Sean took this photo a few years ago.


Filed under Ireland, Memories, Photography

Sean’s music 15 … Amy Winehouse

The best compilation CD we ever had, created for car listening, was put together by Sean a couple of years ago (unfortunately it has been lost). It had a selection of music by various artists that went wonderfully together … as I recall, the only tracks I didn’t especially like were a couple by Muse. There were about five Amy Winehouse songs on it (including all the tracks below) – I had never listened to her much before.

Sean wasn’t interested in the judgemental media hype about Winehouse’s lifestyle … as usual, he admired an independent, uncompromising and talented artist. It occurs to me that she must have been his favourite female artist, as most of his musical heroes were men. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Memories, Music

Some diary extracts … October 2003 to March 2004

1/10/03 – Sean baked a large batch of very good flapjacks.

9/10/03 – We bought a Munster rugby jersey for Sean (a present from his Auntie A).

11/10/03 – Sean and I got up early to watch Ireland v. Romania in the World Cup … Ireland won 45–17, and generally performed well.

15/10/03 – Both kids are enjoying life at present – Sean because of his new school and his sports; Susanna because her new teacher has them doing projects, discussions in class, and so on.

17/10/03 – We got Sean out to school; Susanna is staying off today to play with her cousins. Sean wouldn’t want to miss a day’s school.

21/10/03 – Sean and I watched Arsenal lose to Dynamo Kiev, much to his disappointment.

23/10/03 – Sean was in a race over a mile or so in Cavan, and says that he finished 17th out of 94 or so first-year boys from various schools. Continue reading


Filed under Death, Ireland, Memories


Sean designed this mosaic and made it from stained glass when he was around 10, I think … it’s been hanging on my office wall ever since. It was too large to scan in one go, and some of the colours haven’t come out perfectly, but never mind.

He wrote a poem to go with it.

by Seán O’Brien

Sometimes I just wish I could get away from it all
I wish I could get away from the modern day rush
Sometimes I just wish I could get a plane to … PARADISE!!!


Filed under Art, Death, Memories, Poems

Sean’s music 14 … Queen

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[Slideshow shows Mossie and Sean singing ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ one night in Cavan]

Sean admired Queen … especially Freddie Mercury, for his talent and showmanship. I think it’s fair to say that Mercury was one of his musical heroes, along with the more obvious ones such as Marley and Cobain (all three now dead). Queen were probably more ‘mainstream’ than most of the musicians he liked, but Sean didn’t care about impressing anyone with his taste. Sean cared about enjoying himself.

‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ was the Queen song that Sean listened to most. It’s in his YouTube ‘favourites’, and he downloaded the sound file and often played it … he loved its energy and optimism. I see it as one of his anthems; it sums up his irrepressible love of life and of partying with his friends. Continue reading


Filed under Memories, Music, Philosophy of life

Some diary extracts … May to September 2003

Where Sean is standing (bucket on head) is where my wall partly collapsed last August or so ... weakened by years of having footballs kicked against it. I used to give out to Sean for kicking the ball so hard.

11/5/03 – We all headed to the church in Ballyjamesduff for Sean’s confirmation. This went well, notwithstanding the bishop’s dull homily. Sean did a good job of reading a prayer of the faithful.

14/5/03 – Sean and I watched Real Madrid lose to Juventus, to our disappointment.

17/5/03 – Sean and I watched the FA Cup Final – Arsenal beat Southampton 1–0, much to the joy of Sean in particular (officially all four in our household are Arsenal supporters).

6/6/03 – Sean got an early birthday present, to which he had put some of his own money – a CD player. He was very pleased with it.

20/6/03 – The four of us went up Lough Crew late in the evening and had a good time, with Sean doing spectacular slides on the way down.

4/7/03 – We finished constructing the tennis court, and all had some good games later – Sean is particularly keen. Continue reading


Filed under Anecdotes, Ireland, Memories, The music of what happened

CD photography

Sean did the photography for this music CD. He also took some very good photos for a Virginia-based rock band, which I don’t have to hand at present. Continue reading

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Filed under Memories, Music, Photography