Writer profile profile for declan

Declan Donohoe

This page is dedicated to the memory of

William Declan Donohoe

30th November 1946 – 24th May 2021

On May 24th 2021 Helen our class teacher received the sad news from Declan’s partner Kate, that ‘Dec had lost his battle’ with the cancer and had died that morning. She told us ‘he had loved his writing group’. It was a very sad moment for us all too because he had brought a great deal of  good humour to the class despite his illness and we had loved him being there.

Below is a piece of his life story which describes his training to become an accountant as a seventeen year old in Ireland. He had been writing up several of his memories as stories to leave to his family and this was one of the first ones he read to us.

My First Job

by Declan Donohoe

I had been to the main interview and got selected for the final stage. I had chosen a career in accounting, much to my father’s dismay as he had been shackled to it for over forty years and wanted me to have a different life, something not so boring. I had been to a brief interview with the firm and the interviewer told me he would take me under his personal wing. I started the job with two other seventeen year old boys. We were all to do two months training before being articled to a partner in the firm. Each of the six partners would have six students so the firm had about fifty staff. ... Read on


Four members of the ‘Take Part’ Morning Writing Class would like to offer their own tribute to Declan.

Helen – Class Teacher

We loved Declan's fabulous stories about his amazing life and the characters he'd known. He always made us laugh and he will leave a big hole in the group.



I shall miss you Declan. Perhaps most of all I shall miss your soft Irish accent, your sense of humour and your entertaining but at times shockingly candid stories of your earlier life written with great honesty and humility. I'm sure your family will take great comfort in reading them.

Thank you for your heartfelt contributions to our writing sessions and for making us feel such a mixture of emotions as we listened to you. 

We will never know what happened in the latter stages of your life but we know its end. Rest quietly now.

Beth x


When I think of Declan I think of an entirely honest man who gave us the privilege of learning about him through his stories, in which he emerges as a gentle, humane and humorous person. His love of his family, particularly of his crippled sister was plain. Although he recounted faithfully some disadvantages in his life, he did so without complaint and his protectiveness towards women emerged throughout his stories. I admire his courage and will miss him.          

Much love Diana x

Jo the Po

A Poem to commemorate our class’s dear and magical Declan.

Your voice charmed our hearts from the moment you first spoke.
The lilt and the determined breath of it that had helped you climb
three stories up to our attic theatre room with the long table, where,
sitting under the skylight, you introduced yourself.
You played right down your tale of ill health.
Never mentioned all the suffering that had altered throat and voice.
We listened. Curious at first.
Soon waking to the vibrant, vivid life inside your narrative.
Your plan, you said, was to write about your life for family. For friends.
All those you loved, and we soon realised, must love you so much too.

At some point previously, you had befriended memory. Your own.
Worked hard. ~ Already, realising the Bard that lay inside. ~
In the time you had to come,
in the stories of your Irish upbringing and life,
all the elements of a good tale had crowded in,
jostling to acquaint our class with exploits few of us had ever thought to do.
Or dared!
These had leapt from your mind and on to screen
~ your tips of fingers being digitally trained to balance books,
now balancing there the richness of your words!
Or, on bad days, sometimes entered thoughtfully by hand to written page ~
your mind’s deep wealth for all to profit by.
No elements of accountants’ boredom there!
You simply opened - a new kind of account.
This one inside a more than honest mind that still would dare
to review its many actions.
You brought your youthful world, your Irish sea of tales inland for us.
Charmed us as much as any film, accounting all the abundance of your life.
~ The enriching power of spoken tale and story, ever was “The Gift.”
The ultimate, unending value all of us can hold. ~
Such proffering of self you made back many years
And then to us in class, who first were strangers,
until minutes in, we saw good humour
and a man prepared to open up his soul,
even for us ~
Welcoming us in as we did him.

~ And later now, we understand, that you were
One who deeply sensed how singing, music and the songs of life
were of another element, and that …

With many thanks to Kate, Declan’s partner, who enabled him to come to class and to keep writing, kept us informed  and who we sometimes caught sight of in the background during lockdown when we held our classes on Zoom. So sorry for your loss Kate and all the family. Hope you are all enjoying the wonderful stories.