A gentleman to his fingertips, Dave Timlin was an extremely loyal colleague and friend. His legacy can be seen in the vast number of major capital projects delivered under his stewardship and in the meticulous systems and procedures he oversaw to ensure continually improving excellence and professionalism by Clare County Council in the delivery of services to the Clare public in a dynamic and evolving environment.

Passing of our friend and colleague

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our friend and colleague Dave Timlin, on August 25, 2020, in the wonderful care of the staff at Milford Care Centre, Co Limerick, following a long illness bravely borne. Like so many other funerals during these strange times, due to the government restrictions, a private family funeral took place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Barefield with burial afterwards in Templemaley graveyard.

Dave Timlin

A native of Salthill, Co Galway, Dave graduated from University College Galway (NUI Galway) with a degree in civil engineering in 1972. He commenced his employment with Clare County Council in 1973 where, bar for four years with Galway County Council, he remained until his retirement on December 31, 2011. Dave made his home in Ashfield Park, Ennis, from where he and his beloved wife Marian reared their family, Sara, Ray, Philip and Fergal. 

Clare County Council

During his time with Clare County Council, Dave worked in all of the main service areas including roads, water, environment and housing. He also worked throughout Co Clare in a variety of roles including executive engineer, senior executive engineer, Ennis town engineer, and deputy county engineer. 

In 2001, following a major reform of local government, Dave was appointed to the key position of director of service where as a senior member of the council's management team for many years, he played a leadership role with responsibility for policy implementation, service delivery and change management across the county as well as being the area manager for the Ennistymon electoral area.  

Throughout his career he demonstrated professionalism, competence, innovation and diligence in all his areas of involvement. He was to the fore in managing and delivering strategic change, including Clare County Council's first ever 'Strategic Management Initiative' and other such corporate strategies. 

Pilot projects

Dave was the first to volunteer to lead on pilot projects of a national interest and thereafter assisted in the roll-out across Clare and the wider public sector.  Dave represented the council and the local government sector on many regional and national working groups and task forces on various strategic matters.  

In such roles, he was articulate, adept at identifying the issues and creative in finding the solutions. 

On a personal level, Dave had an abundance of very positive attributes. He was kind, courteous and respectful to all he dealt with. A gentleman to his fingertips, he was an extremely loyal colleague and friend. 

He made himself available selflessly to mentor and nurture other staff members to achieve their goals. As chair of the council's Continuous Professional Development (CPD) committee, Dave led the team that resulted in Clare County Council becoming the first local authority to achieve the coveted CPD Accreditation from Engineers Ireland in 2003. 

This award, which we have maintained since, gave national recognition to Clare County Council for its competent workforce and its excellent policies in terms of staff development. 

As an advocate for lifelong learning, Dave led by example and completed many postgraduate courses himself over the years including a master’s degree in management and accounting in NUI Galway; a bachelor’s degree in law and economics through the Institute of Public Administration as well an intensive executive leadership programme at Harvard University in Boston.

When he retired in December 2011 after more than 38 years of exemplary public service, he left behind a legacy of fine achievements and an excellent work ethic. 

Vast number of major capital projects

His legacy can be seen physically too in the vast number of major capital projects delivered under his stewardship. So too can it be seen in the meticulous systems and procedures he oversaw to ensure continually improving excellence and professionalism by Clare County Council in the delivery of services to the Clare public in a dynamic and evolving environment.

Finally, as we say our last fond farewell to Dave, we once again express our sympathy to his wife Marian, his children Sara, Ray, Philip, and Fergal, his beloved grandchildren, son-in-law, brothers, sisters, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends. 

A suitable epitaph for Dave could be “A curious mind, a mentor, a leader, a gentleman!” But as the Greek philosopher Pericles said what you leave behind is not what is engraved on stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others. Dave certainly left a significant impact on all of us who had the pleasure of working with him.  We are the better for knowing him and will miss him dearly. May his gentle soul rest in peace. 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis

Seán Lenihan