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I must admit to being totally shocked to learn of the sudden passing of Raymond Daly. My brother Des
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called about a month ago and mentioned that he’d met Raymond and Theresa in the town and how
well they both looked. We grew up with the Daly's. They were our next-door neighbors in Pennyburn.
His mother Katie and brothers Brian and Kevin were the best neighbors anyone could wish for.
How lucky we were our parents often would say.
Our Dad, who was a monumental sculptor, would stop his work each time Katie would sing. This happened usually while she was hanging out clothes.
Dad said she was both a champion Irish step dancer and a lady blessed with a beautiful voice.
To us she was always cheerful, welcoming and passed this onto her sons. Their door was open to all.
Raymond worked for some time at Ulster Telefusion where the ladies loved him and all the men respected him.
In the late 60's People in Derry and beyond could not afford to purchase a television so it was common to rent one
Raymond had a van full of televisions and aerials (antennas) I had the good fortune to be his helper.
We would frequently stop by his wife (then girlfriend) Theresa's home in Creggan for a wee cup of tea and a bite.
My job was to stay on the roof and turn the aerial until he got the best picture, hopefully absent of "snow".
People usually were glad and excited to see us. I could write a book about the wonderful people and their hospitality.
On one occasion the lady of the house asked that Raymond turn off the television because the wrestlers
were slapping the canvas so hard "they'll break something"! Another time we were in the Brandywell area of the city
in the late afternoon. Our last job of the day. I recall the lady had a number of small children including a baby.
I remember her home, while small, was kept immaculately. The children all set on a sofa anxiously waiting the new
television. All went well and BBC news came on and thankfully with a splendid picture. As was the custom she offered us a cup of tea and a wee "bicky". Looking at me and observing I was in need of more than a "bicky" she commenced to make a banana sandwich. The struggling baby in her arms made some audible noises and without hesitation the nappy was removed exposing a substance similar to a yellow eggish coloured mush. With her free hand she deftly squished the overly ripe banana on a piece of triangular shaped bread. Placing it on my knee she happily proclaimed "That’s for you son" Raymond was busy dipping his digestive biscuit and winking at me to “get stuck into it”. I don’t have a weak stomach but this was never going to be eaten by me and I did not want to embarrass the lovely lady.
I looked at the children as they eyed both their new television and my sandwich. I was in a very tight spot and Raymond was about to come to my rescue. Feigning that the picture quality had gotten worse Raymond saved the day by ordering me up onto the roof and yelling "it's better now" and off we went.
I have been living with my wife Eileen in San Francisco for nearly 50 years now but I will never forget those happy days in the Town I loved so well with a total gentleman to whom I owe a great deal.
Eileen and I send our sincere condolences to Theresa, Phillip, Jaqui, Raymond Jr. and Mark. Raymonds brothers
Brian and Kevin as well as his many friends in Derry and beyond. Rest in peace Raymond.
Eileen and Martin Rooney
Eileen and Martin Rooney, San Francisco
Monday 22 February 2021