James Bailie, RIP

Pictured: James Bailie. Photo courtesy of Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association.

Pictured: James Bailie. Photo courtesy of Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association.

The Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association (STTCA) was deeply saddened by the untimely passing of its esteemed colleague and friend, James Bailie on October 8th last.

As a very loyal member of the STTCA he never once flinched from his duties and always showed an unceasing and untiring commitment to all events taking place in Sandymount. His creative and artistic skills were demonstrated at all times.

It was poignant to remember James at the time of his death in October, particularly relating to the Harvest/Pumpkin Festival weekend, the festival that was indeed his brainchild when established four years ago. It is true to say that he had worked assiduously in the best interests of this project before he went on holidays to Spain in October, and frequently kept in touch with committee members, ensuring that all plans were in place before his imminent return. Attention to detail was always paramount to James.

James, a native of Belfast, was undoubtedly an outstanding public face of Sandymount where he lived for over 40 years, and he was also closely aligned to the Presbyterian Congregation of Christ Church on The Green. James had deep faith and had a great relationship with the Rev Katherine Meyer, the minister, as he had with all his fellow Presbyterian brethren. This was evidenced by all who attended his funeral service at Christ Church where the Rev Katherine spoke so eloquently about James.

Ironically, her predecessor, the Rev Denis Campbell, who was transferred some years ago to Spain, assisted for James’s final journey back to Dublin and as a testament to his friendship with James, held a memorial service in Spain on November 28th, a gesture so comforting to the Bailie family.

James had an unrivalled combination of skills and an unstinting work ethic, be it for all the Sandymount Tidy Towns events or indeed in his personal capacity as a flower designer. He was full of ideas and was a gifted communicator, quick-witted, good humoured and always “full of fun.”

James was always engaging, full of charisma and loved people. His last parochial duty on September 12th was none other than raising over €800 for the annual coffee morning, which he donated to the Blackrock Hospice.

James had given tirelessly to many charities over decades and worked particularly hard on the HIV charity, Friends for Friends, with his partner Sean, taking care and helping out many people and fighting stigma. On World Aids Day December 1st, we remember their contribution with pride and gratitude.

He loved Sandymount, and displayed a phenomenal capacity for decorating the village for each season or special occasion. He loved his beautiful home and garden, his apartment in Spain, his neighbours and his huge circle of friends. Sadly, James lost his partner of 40 years, Séan, only 15 months previous in 2015, and we believed that he was finally coming to terms with that loss.

James’s untimely death robs Sandymount of a hugely talented person and someone who had so much to give. But the greatest loss now belongs to James’s family. We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his brothers Drew and Jackie, sisters-in-law, Carolyn and Ethel, his nieces Sarah, Holly, Lynzi, his nephew Scott, his extended family members and friends.

James will be remembered with affection, gratitude and enduring respect by the people of Sandymount and especially by the members of the STTCA. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

By Declan Hayden