The Hugh O’Flaherty Society this week relayed their shock at the tragic death of 2011 award recipient Sally O’Neill.
Trócaire’s former head died in a freak car accident in western Guatemala earlier this week. It was reported that all four people in the car died when it plunged into a 300 metre ravine off the Inter-American Highway.
“Sally was nominated for the 2011 award and was unanimously selected by the independent award panel,” Jerry O’Grady, Hugh O’Flaherty Society Chair, said.
He added that the award panel’s endorsement at the time read – ‘It would be a gross understatement to say that the committee members were impressed by her record of humanitarian work over the past three decades. She is considered by all to be a shining example of what Hugh O’Flaherty stood for i.e. putting oneself at the service of the oppressed without any regard for their race or creed and at clear risk to one’s own life’.

“One of my abiding memories of Sally was the optimism and joy that she exuded when talking to us about the challenges Trócaire faced in Central America, and she also had a natural and very necessary sense of humour. Sally’s passing follows only four months after the 2015 award recipient Dr John Beavis died. The world can ill-afford to lose humanitarians like Sally O’Neill and Dr John Beavis.”

He added that their deepest sympathies go out to her husband Roger and her children, her extended family, friends and colleagues in the wider NGO family. May she rest in peace.

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