Des Fitzgerald pictured above is being honoured by his colleagues at Limerick Fire Rescue Fundraiser
Limerick Fire Rescue fundraise for Pieta House in memory of colleague Des Fitzgerald
By I Love Limerick Correspondent Tara Byrne
Limerick Fire and Rescue Service and Des Fitzgerald’s family have set up a GoFundMe page in honour of their colleague Des, who sadly passed away on Friday, April 2, 2021. All money raised in memory of Des will go to Pieta House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm.
“On Friday, 2nd April 2021 we lost our legend, Des Fitzgerald. Des was a family man, a Limerick City Firefighter, a fitness lover and an all-round gentleman. Des was loved by everyone,” said Limerick Fire and Rescue Service.
Des, of Bengal Terrace, Old Cork Road and late of Castleisland and Adare will be laid to rest on Thursday, April 8 in Mt St Lawrence Extension Cemetery following a private requiem mass for family in St John’s Cathedral.
Des will be remembered by those who knew him and loved him as being full of energy and life. He was always out and about walking or running with his family and was the proud owner of Lucky, the best-trained dog in the city. It could take him an hour to get up Mulgrave Street to Bengal Terrace due to the number of people who would want to stop and chat with him.
Des would also drop into the fire station to see if those on duty were busy with calls. Being a firefighter was not a job to him, it was a way of life and of preserving life. Mr Fitzgerald rescued a number of people while both on and off duty and received medals for his life-saving actions. He worked for Analog and Mr Binman before joining Limerick Fire and Rescue Service in November 2011. In those 10 years, Des made a huge difference to many people’s lives.
In 2013, Des won a special bravery medal after risking his life to save a man who jumped into the river.
Out of the uniform, he was a fantastic boxer and gym instructor with a huge passion for fitness and trained at JJB & Functional Fitness.
Yesterday we lost a family member, friend, legend – Firefighter Des Fitzgerald.
Our thoughts are with Des’s family – his wife Elaine, daughters Aisling & Lynn, son Eoghan, his parents, brothers & extended family.
A much loved member of White Watch.
Rest in Peace Dessie. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/chphoSS2T1
— Limerick Fire & Rescue (@LimerickFire) April 3, 2021
So far, in just a short amount of time, €12,090 has already been raised for Pieta House in memory of Des. Des’s family have requested that in lieu of flowers you may wish to contribute to Pieta House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm.
Des is deeply missed by his loving wife Elaine, daughters Aisling and Lynn, son Eoghan, parents David and Hazel Fitzgerald, parents in law Mary and Ray O’Doherty, brothers Gareth and Kevin, brothers in law James and Ray, sister in law Angie, niece Emma and nephew Ruadhri, all other relatives neighbours and many friends.
Pieta House provides free counselling to those with suicidal ideation, those engaging in self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. Staff are fully qualified and provide a professional one-to-one therapeutic service.
Pieta House has been around since 2006 and has since seen and helped over 58,000 people in distress or contemplating harming themselves.
Limerick Fire and Rescue Service said on social media, “We’re in awe at the kindness and generosity shown to us from all over the world, in what has been a very difficult past few days. Thank you to everyone who has shared wonderful memories of Dessie and also contributed to Dessie’s GoFundMe Memorial for Pieta House, Preventing Suicide and Self Harm. In just over 24 hours we have raised over €10,000 for a fantastic cause. This figure in such a short time has amazed us all & is testament to the kind, funny, energetic gentleman that Des was.”
May Des Rest in Peace.
If you ever need help or have been affected by this story, please reach out to these numbers:
Samaritans 116 123
Pieta House 1800 247 247
Childline 1800 666 666
Women’s Aid 1800 341 900
Men’s Aid 01 5543811
ALONE 0818 222 024
In an emergency dial 999 or 112.
To donate to the GoFundMe page go HERE
For more stories about Limerick Fire Rescue go HERE