Death of Laois woman who helped fund many Laois community projects and busineses

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Death of Laois woman who helped fund many Laois community projects and busineses

Anne Goodwin and Rodney Picture: Luke Wynne

The death has taken place of a Laois woman who, through her position as chief executive of Laois Partnership, has helped many local community groups and businesses over many years.

Anne Goodwin (née O Sullivan) Kilbride, Portarlington passed away peacefully after a long illness on Friday, June 19 at home in the loving care of her much loved family, her husband Rodney and her daughters Alice and Martha.

The deceased was to the fore in helping many Laois projects through her role with Laois Partnership which has awarded millions of euro in funding to Laois initiatives which would never have not have got off the ground without the Leader funding administered by the agency led by the deceased.

Ms Goodwin has been CEO at Laois Partnership since it was founded in 2009. Prior to that she was programme manager at a predecessor agency between 1998 and 2009 when the Partnership was formed following the merger of a number of Laois Leader fund bodies.

She had worked for both agencies for 22 years.

Peter O'Neill is the chairman of the Laois Partnership Company board.

"It is with deep sadness that we learned this morning of the death of our CEO Anne Goodwin. Anne passed away peacefully at home last night (Friday) in the loving care of her much loved family. Anne was a wonderful colleague, leader and mentor and we will miss her in the weeks and years to come.

"Her work in Laois through LEADER is a legacy that will remain for decades. Anne dedicated 22 years to Laois Leader including when Leader and Social Inclusion projects merged to become Laois Partnership. Every corner of Laois has had a touch of Anne's hand in it from Clonaslee to Graiguecullen and all across the Windy gap and Slieve blooms.

"From Community projects to helping rural diversification to assisting new and innovative businesses, Anne through her roles, firstly as project officer and for almost 20 years as CEO, led the company and delivered over €16 million in funding to every sector in Laois.

Her passion for rural development was only matched by the love of her family husband Rodney, daughters Alice and Martha, her mother Nora Sullivan brother Eamon and sister Graine Griffin and all extended family. 

"To me, Anne was not just a brilliant CEO and advocate for Laois but a family friend that will be sadly missed not alone in Laois but by all her friends and colleagues nationwide in ILDN.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with her family, friends and colleagues. May she rest in peace.

On behalf of the Board and staff of Laois Partnership Company," said Mr O’Neill.

Laois Offaly TD and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan also paid tribute.

"The passing of Anne Goodwin has brought much sadness to communities across Laois. Anne was a community dynamo for many years in our county working tirelessly to improve the lives an livelihoods of our people through Community Development programmes. While she will be a big loss to us all in Laois, the greatest loss will be felt by Rodney, Alice & Martha and her mother Nora," he said.

Anne will be much missed by her mother Nora, sister Gráinne, brother Eamonn, and her extended family, mother-in-law Shirley, Lyle, Neil, Velma, Hugo, Mike and her nieces and nephews.

Funeral Service on Monday at 2.30pm in The Methodist Church Portlaoise. Due to COVID 19 restrictions only 25 people (family members) can attend in the church. Burial afterwards in The Friends Burial Ground, Rosenallis, at 4pm approx. Sympathisers can attend outside the church or at the burial ground.

For those who wish to pass through the church as an expression of sympathy they can do so on Monday from 10am to 12 noon.

Anne's family would like to thank everybody for your kind consideration at this difficult time.

Laois Partnership Company is the Local Development Company for County Laois. A State and EU funded organisation, it delivers a range of programmes and supports to people, communities and businesses in the county. These programmes aim to make Laois a better place to live in by enhancing community life, combating disadvantage and social exclusion and supporting enterprise development.