Offaly’s Dibby remembered for his sporting and literary prowess

TULLAMORE lost one of its great characters last week with the death of the late David (Davie) Boland.

Affectionately known as Dibby, David, 59, of 54 Thornsberry Estate, has achieved success in a number of different areas despite facing tremendous challenges in life.

David, son of the late Michael and Mary-Ellen Boland, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth but did not let the condition rule his life.

He pioneered the Offaly Branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association and the IWA Resource Center in Ballinagar along with Brendan Brophy of nearby Ballinagar and the late Sr. Veronica.

Guards of honor from both groups escorted his remains to the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary for the requiem mass last Monday morning.

David was intensively involved in the work of the wheelchair association for many years and made close friends there.

He was a talented athlete and represented Ireland at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Paralympics.

His honors included the bronze medal at the 1984 Paralympics in men’s C2 medicine ball kick, the bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Paralympics in men’s C2 kickball, and the gold medal in the 4x100m C2-3 mixed replay in Seoul.

He was also one of the recipients of the Offaly Sports Stars Awards in 1985.

In later years he played bocce and was a foot sniper.

Outgoing and affable, David was also of artistic stature, excelling in prose, poetry and art.

His book Off the Tip of my Tongue was published to great acclaim.

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David has lived with his brother John and family at Thornsberry Estate in a specially converted wing of the house for the past 26 years.

His niece Cathy recalled that her uncle was a “great comedian who loved music”.

“He also had an eye for women,” Cathy recalled fondly.

David’s remains were buried at O’Reilly’s Funeral Home, Harbor Street, on Sunday afternoon and taken to the Church of the Assumption for funeral service on Monday morning, immediately after which they were buried in Clonminch Cemetery.

Predeceased by his parents, Michael and Mary-Ellen, and his brothers, Michael, Dan, and Charlie. David will be sorely missed by his loving brothers and sisters, John, Patsy, Joseph, Judy, Breda and Noeleen, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbors and many friends who offer our deepest sympathy.

Rest in peace.


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