Obituary: Una Loftus/ Ui Lachtnain
On the 1st of April 2014, the people of Clontarf and environs lost a very dear friend, Úna Loftus/ Ui Lachtnáin.
It was shocking to receive the news that a women with so much energy and enthusiasm could have died so suddenly and after a very short illness. The wife of Seán Dublin Bay Loftus (deceased), Una was a fluent Irish speaker who worked tirelessly to promote the Irish language and culture. Her many accolades include her role as Uachtarán Oireachtas na Gaeilge for 2011.
At a local level, do people remember the annual Christmas fair held in St. Antony's hall; where you could buy cards and gifts in Irish? The whole Loftus family would be involved in the event, which was always a resounding success. More recently, Una was due to give a lecture in Irish about the Battle of Clontarf as part of the 1014 commemorations.
Una had a lifelong commitment to community activism and in supporting local democracy. With this background she was the perfect Chairwomen of the Dublin City Community Forum, a role she held for many years. As the wife of Sean Dublin Bay Loftus, Una was bound to be involved in the environment and was a great supporter of Sean's many campaigns to save our bay. She was also a founding member of the Bull Island action group, who continue this valuable voluntary work, keeping Bull Island clean and safe in a protected Unesco biosphere reserve.
Una was a great organiser and impressively orchestrated events and activity outside of the public eye. I myself had the good fortune to watch her in action, setting up the Bay Watch Action group in St. Gabriel's hall. She wasn’t even at the top table but by the time she had finished, the committee had been formed that included all the essential members.
As Lady Mayoress, she flourished, promoting Dublin and being an excellent host at events in the Mansion house.
Una had an excellent sense of style and knew how to dress well. Regardless of occasion, she was stylish and perfectly presented. She also loved to travel and it gave her joy that she had been to so many exciting places in the world and met so many interesting people.
But everybody who knew Una was privileged to be treated to her warmth and welcoming personality.
She had a way of making you feel as ease so that you could be yourself and she was so very generous with her time and advice.
Her untimely death is a great loss to her family but hopefully they can take comfort in knowing that she felt loved. She knew that she had a good life and she filled it with enough for two lifetimes.
We will remember Una Loftus/ Ui Lachtnain and her late husband, with whom she is now reunited, when we look out at Dublin Bay, stroll on Dollymount Strand or simply greet each other "as Gaeilge".
"Slan leat mo Chara."
Our condolences and prayers go to her daughters, Muireann and Fiona and her son Ruairí, to her grandchildren and extended family.
May she rest in peace.
- Donna Cooney