Just over a year ago on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Rob and Emma Bresnan received a phone call that all parents dread and one that would change their lives forever as they learned of the tragic death of their only beloved son Robert (Bomber) in Toronto, Canada, aged just 27.
A native of Avondale in Waterford City, Bomber, as he was affectionally known, was a much loved and talented sportsman and physical trainer remembered fondly for his passionate love of sport, music, his sense of humour and common decency.
His untimely demise shell-shocked all that knew him best leaving a void that his parents, his only sister Ciara, his extended family and wide circle of friends, still try to fill whilst remembering his witty nature with two charity events in the past year.
After the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust helped to safely return his body from Canada for a funeral held at the Sacred Heart Church, the Folly, before burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ballygunner last May, the community came together to raise funds for the trust with the organisation of a soccer tournament.
The brainchild of Stephen Flynn and Nick Cannell amongst many others, raised a grand total of €11,426, which was presented to the Kevin Bell Trust last year. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions that event wasn’t possible this year, but his name wouldn’t be forgotten on Saturday last.
Remembered as a talented goalkeeper with Villa, Bomber was also a highly regarded GAA player and after first playing with Erin’s Own GAA club, he moved to Mount Sion, where former team-mate Ian Galgey came up with a Shave or Dye in aid of Pieta House in his memory held over last weekend.
Ian Galgey who organised the Shave or Dye in memory of the late Robert “Bomber” Bresnan and Pieta House is pictured with family members of Robert’s, parents Bob and Emma Bresnan, sister, Ciara and her boyfriend, Sam Harris. Photo: Noel Browne.
HELP SAVE A LIFE
The event saw many of his friends and former teammates come together to either shave or dye their hair and with an initial target set to raise €5000, it has trebled that figure much to the delight of all connected with it.
Speaking to the Waterford News & Star at Villa AFC on Saturday last, his father Bob said, “It’s fantastic to see so many of Robert’s friends come together over the last year to raise over €26,000 for two worthy charities.
“As a family we’re delighted that people are doing this in loving memory of our son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend. If it helps highlight the mental health of young people and it can help save a life, then that’s the most important thing for us.
His mother Emma added, “We knew how much he was loved by all the lads and I’m sure that he would be very proud of what they are doing in his memory. As Ian said, he is probably looking down laughing at them all this afternoon, but it’s great to see that they continue to remember him.
“If raising funds can help save somebody else then it’s all worthwhile. Last year it raised money for the Kevin Bell Trust and this year for Pieta House. This money will help other families and we’re grateful for the support that we’ve received.”
His sister Ciara took to her social media when recording Ian Galgey’s headshave to say, “Fair play to Ian Galgey and everyone that has taken part. We really appreciate it and to everyone involved. It’s such a great cause in memory of my brother.” Once Bomber’s friends are around, his memory will live on every year.