It was with great sadness that we heard of the passing of Mary McPartlan recently. Mary was not only a local musician and an educator, she also played an instrumental part in the early days of Galway Simon Community. Mary joined the organisation in 1985 as Galway Simon’s very first Administrator with responsibility for fundraising. To learn more about Mary’s life and her acheivements, read ‘Mary McPartlan obituary’ by The Irish Times.
Last year, Mary helped us to mark our 40th anniversary by speaking at our annual report launch and by taking part in research carried out by Tom Kenny for our publication ‘The Early Days of Galway Simon’. In doing so, Mary helped to give an insight to the early days of the organisation and to highlight the lack of awareness around homelessness, as well as the lack of services that were available in Galway in the eighties.“I became involved in a lot of issues around civil rights and human rights at all sorts of levels and of course the Simon Community was central in Galway and had begun the process of caring, and I say that in a very special way, caring for homeless men with alcohol problems at that time, through coming from broken homes, through becoming homeless in London and coming back to Galway”.
“We’re all totally aware of the horror, 35 years later, of homelessness and the health services but back then we were outraged that there weren’t special services for homeless people at that time. The Simon Community in Galway, to me, became the conscience of the people”.
– Mary McPartlan speaking at Galway Simon’s Annual Report Launch in 2019, marking the organisations 40th anniversary. We are incredibly grateful to Mary for her commitment to those facing homelessness over the years and for the part she played in Galway Simon’s history. On behalf of all at Galway Simon Community, both past and present, we would like to offer our sincere condolences to Mary’s family and friends. May she rest in peace.22nd April 2020