Remembering a great Husband, Father, Grandfather & Friend.
He was loving, caring, friendly, generous and an honest man. The most important things in Dad’s life was Family. We can all look back and smile at all the fond memories we have. These memories will last forever and never fade. It probably became more evident what a great man he was after his cancer diagnosis. He fought the battle with cancer with great dignity. The number of friends and well-wishers that called to our home over the year and half he was battling cancer was amazing. He made time for everyone. These people might have left with tears in their eyes, but they also had a smile on their faces.
It was with the help of many people that made this fight bearable. He was so appreciative to all the doctors, nurses in UCHG that tried everything possible to beat this disease. When all treatments were exhausted it was the people in the Galway Hospice that made his last few months and weeks comfortable as possible.
Dad was born and raised in Ballymacward. He lived there until he got married and moved into Renmore. It was here he raised his own Family. He always kept close ties with his roots back in Ballymacward where he was very close to his only brother Paddy and his family. Dad had a passion for many things. His main passion was for the GAA. He really loved matches (especially Hurling). It didn’t matter to Dad if it was a senior or junior match. He would go anyway. He liked nothing more than standing up in the corner of Kenny park in Athenry, leaning against the barrier watching games with his mates and having the craic. You could hear him laughing and joking over the other side of the pitch.
Dad worked hard all hard all his life to provide for his family. This is the reason why we never wanted for anything. Dad worked for Roadstone for many years until he started up his own tarmac business. He always got up in the mornings and headed off to work with a smile on his face. He took great pride in his work and people would still mention to this day what a great job he did for them. He was determined and passionate about his work and he gave everyone the respect they deserved.
Growing up in Renmore, the Galway Hospice was only a stone’s throw away from our house, but it was a place that we never imagined that we would ever need to rely on. After a long battle it was the 20th August 2018 that our father entered the Galway Hospice. He spent three weeks there until his passing. During these weeks he was treated with so much kindness that our family will be eternally grateful. Dad’s wishes were to spend his final days at home but with the treatment and kindness he was receiving in the hospice he felt more at ease in the hospice, so he made the decision to stay. Even though Dad was in the Hospice and going through a difficult time, with our hand on our hearts we can actually say that he did enjoy his time there. Dad loved the outdoors and on one sunny day the staff moved him and his bed (which wasn’t easy) outside into the garden for a few minutes so that he could feel the warmth of the sun on his face. We all really enjoyed that moment. It was gestures like these that make the Galway Hospice what it is today. Being a passionate GAA man, Dad was visited by the victorious All-Ireland winning minor manager Jeffery Lynskey and player Seán McDonagh. There are only some of Dad’s experiences in the hospice but they are ones we will never forget. We will be forever grateful to the Galway Hospice for the dignity they showed Peter/Dad during his time there.
Before Peter’s passing, he made us aware that he wanted to give something back to the Hospice. To say thanks to the Hospice, our extended Family climbed Croagh Patrick to raise funds. We are determined to make this an annual event as we know what an important service is being provided.
The Hillary Family