Liam Rowsome 1939-1997

By Helena Rowsome

As a result of having suffered a stroke, my brother Liam was a patient of the Mater Hospital from April to October 1996 at which time he was transferred to Our Lady’s Hospice, Harolds Cross where he died on 15th October last. He was in his 58th year.

Liam was a gentle man whose quiet demeanour and inability to conform with the requirements of everyday life often concealed his immense intellectual and musical abilities.

Liam studied music at the Municipal School of Music, Chatham Row (now known as the College of Music) and from a Hungarian Violinist, Dr Dalbeare. It was said that he was a true musician of unusual technical ability. He was educated at Marino National School, and St. Vincents, Sutton. He graduated from UCD with a BA Degree in History and English. His knowledge of language was comprehensive, so much so that he was often in a league of his own when it came to verbal communication.

Liam was most fortunate to have a circle of close friends who stood by him through some extremely difficult times since the death of our mother in 1988 on whom Liam was highly dependent. The names of Ciaran O’Reilly, Mick and Ann O’Connor and family and Eddie McGinley immediately spring to mind.

One of the most vivid and early memories of my brother Liam is of his practising his fiddle in our family bathroom at Belton Park Road in the good old days when our parents were alive. He regularly enjoyed the vibrant sound that only a large bathroom with its lack of fine furnishings could provide. Liam tended however to overlook the need of his young twin sisters to use the toilet which forced us to use the much less comfortable outdoor facility!

While taking Olivia and myself to school one day hand in hand, Liam who was more inclined to be thinking of the last two bars of the Mason’s Apron than the well being of the kid sisters, introduced me at the age of 6 to my first tree on Griffith Avenue when he walked me right into it. I was far too stunned to reprimand him and definitely too frightened to tell my mother in case I had damaged the tree! To his close friends who supported him in their many ways in his sometimes turbulent life, may I say on Liam’s behalf míle buíochas.