ONE of the best-known and respected members of the Kilmeen community, Roger O’Donoghue, passed away at the great age of ninety-six years on December 8th, 2022.
Roger, who was born in Glenflesk near Killarney, joined the Garda Síochána in 1948 and served in several districts before being posted to Ballygurteen in the mid-1960s. When Roger arrived in Ballygurteen, he was already married to Rita O’Connor, whom he had married while stationed in Newmarket. Roger and Rita reared their family of four children, Muriel, Mike, Marjorie and Damien at Ballygurteen.
Roger was very much a man of the people, which Damien expressed so vividly in his eulogy when he stated: ‘Roger was old-school garda, very much a man on the ground and a man of the people. Right was right and wrong was wrong, but he had a way of dealing with things. With a wink, a smile and a nod, Roger knew how to diffuse many the tricky situation.’
Roger knew the value of community policing long before the concept was invented. He immersed himself in various community organisations and served as an officer of Kilmeen/Kilbree GAA Club for many years. He took a keen interest in road bowl playing and became a familiar figure at scores all over West Cork and beyond. Roger, who was a life-long member of the Pioneer Association, was active in parish affairs until shortly before his death.
Following his funeral mass in St Mary’s Church Rossmore, Roger was laid to rest in St Finbarr’s Cemetery, Dunmanway.
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