Anthony O’Malley Daly was a passionate man who didn’t do half measures. He was very much the epitome of ‘full duck or no dinner’, or perhaps, it would read better if I replaced the duck with a salmon?
Republican to his toenails, he fought injustice where he saw it, yet you didn’t have to wave a green flag to get his help. Injustice is multicoloured and he crossed the political/religious divide to reach out and help those who needed to be helped.
By Michael Daly
A keen angler, for him heaven was a dullish day on the Eske or Melvin with the trout nibbling. With the Hannas at his side, Anthony was in his dreamland and then the line would tighten and a little joust later his net might bulge with a beautiful trout landed.
But Anthony paddled many different canoes. A chairman, on two occasions, of Ballyshannon Town Commissioners, (‘84/’85 and ‘87/’88) he packed so much into 78 years.
He served for five years in the RAF, in Cyprus and Egypt. He returned to Ballyshannon and in 1958 married Mary Hanna from Donegal town and they have four children, Dara, Orla, Sarah and Patrick. They moved to London where he worked as a cinema manager and studied at nighttime getting his Post Master General Certificate to allow him join the merchant navy.
He worked with the Democrat for thirty years, 20 years in the office and ten on the road with credit control, retiring in 1994. Anthony and big Seamus Goan kept the shillings rolling in.
The office was never a dull place when Anthony was about, the stories we might tell some day, maybe?
He was a divil, but he understood the word loyalty and was Democrat to the core.
He worked in the Democrat, he wrote for the Democrat and he stood up for the Democrat.
He finished his formal working life as a FAS supervisor.
Afflicted by Parkinson’s Disease, his approach to that burden was typical - ‘he had it, it didn’t have him’, was his motto.
He embarked on a series of hair raising funding sprees to raise awareness about Parkinson’s. I’m sure Mary must have been terrified as now in his 70’s he came home to reveal his latest ‘idea’!
There was water skiing down the Mall, one of the less adventurous ones and, oh yes, parachuting from 10,000 feet.
He participated in the North West 10k race and became an even more active community campaigner, a chairman of the North West Parkinson’s Association.
To say he was ‘driven’ would be an understatement, the only thing that went faster than him was his ‘pimped up scooter’ cutting a very sharp right into Inisfail on College Street.
But there was so much else going on, he won a bravery award in 2001 (31 years after his heroics saved three lives) and he wrote angling columns for the Democrat and the Sun newspapers.
He campaigned to highlight the damage caused by nuclear testing and raised funds for Bishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa.
Parkinson’s made life frustrating in recent years for Anthony, but it didn’t stop his drive to communicate. On the night he launched his opus, Trilogy, a 353 page triumvirate of all that he held so dear, he was determined to have his say. It was slow coming, but he got there and those of us privileged to be there took to our feet to salute Anthony O’Malley Daly, the man who would never ever go quietly.
Survived by Mary, his wonderful wife, and sons and daughters Dara, Orla, Sarah and Patrick, Anthony will long be remembered as a man who did it his way.
In a final note to the reader in ‘Trilogy’ Anthony wrote something I might finish with which sums up his own approach to life perfectly:
“Whatever you do, don’t waste a minute of your life.”
Rest in peace amigo.
* Please note, these are the arrangements for Anthony’s funeral:
Anthony’s remains will repose at John McGee & Sons Funeral Home, Belleek Road, Ballyshannon on Saturday from 1pm, with removal to St Patrick’s Church, Ballyshannon at 6pm for 6.30pm prayers. Funeral Mass on Sunday at 1pm, with burial afterwards in Abbey Assaroe Cemetery.