Derek Farrell – R.I.P Obituary

March 16th, 2020

Photo of Derek Farrell

It was with great sadness that we at Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) learnt of the passing last Friday 6th March 2020 of former Chairman, Board Member, Director and friend of MDI, Derek Farrell.

Derek first became involved with Muscular Dystrophy Ireland (MDI) in the mid 1980’s and he was appointed as MDI’s first Director (CEO) in 1987.  Up to this time, there would have been very limited support services provided by MDI as we were a relatively new and unknown organisation with few resources.  MDI would have primarily raised funds for research which would have been forwarded to our sister organisation in the UK.

After his appointment as Director, Derek would have been instrumental in helping to implement one of MDI’s first five-year plans to help ensure the growth and development of our organisation.  He played a key role in the development of the initial pilot project which led to the employment of MDI’s first Family Support Worker in 1988.  He also helped to develop MDI’s administration services through the employment of permanent staff in 1988/1989 who have been working at MDI to this day.

In 1989, Derek left MDI and went to work for the Disabled Drivers Association (DDAI) where he was Chief Executive Officer until his retirement in 2006.  Throughout this time, he always remained in regular contact with MDI and provided valuable support and advice when required.

In 2007 Derek once again became more actively involved with MDI and at the AGM in 2014 he was elected to the position of Vice-Chairperson and held this position until his retirement in 2017.

Derek’s involvement with MDI over the years has undoubtedly helped to shape and direct the path in which our organisation has taken since his involvement.  He will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

On behalf of Muscular Dystrophy Ireland, its community, staff and board, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Derek’s wife Olga, his children, grandchildren and extended family.

Ar deis de, go raibh a ainm usuail.

Dr. John Roche
Muscular Dystrophy Ireland

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Categories: News

1. Muscular Dystrophies

  • Becker muscular dystrophy
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Manifesting carrier of Duchenne
  • Congenital muscular dystrophy
  •     •  General
  •     •  MDC1A (merosin-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy)
  •     •  Rigid spine syndrome (RSS)
  •     •  Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophies
  •     •  Bethlem myopathy
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy
  • Limb-girdle types of muscular dystrophy (LGMD)
  •     •  General
  •     •  LGMD 1B (also known as Laminopathy)
  •     •  LGMD 1C (also known as Caveolinopathy)
  •     •  LGMD 2A (also known as Calpainopathy)
  •     •  LGMD 2B (also known as Dysferlinopathy)
  •     •  LGMD 2I
  • Ocular myopathies including ocularopharangeal muscular dystrophy

2. Myotonic Disorders

  • Congenital Myotonic Dystrophy
  • Myotonia
  • Myotonic Dystrophy

3. Congenital Myopathies

  • Central Core Myopathy
  • Congenital Fibre-type Disproportion Myopathy
  • Minicore (Multicore) myopathy
  • Myotubular or Centronuclear myopathy
  • Nemaline myopathy

4. Mitochondrial Myopathies

  • Mitochondrial Myopathies

5. Metabolic Disorders

  • Metabolic disorders (general)
  • McArdle’s Disease
  • Pompe’s Disease

6. Periodic Paralyses

  • Periodic Paralyses

7. Autoimmune Myositis

  • Polymyositis, Dermatomyositis and Sarcoid myopathy
  • Juvenile dermatomyositis
  • Inclusion body myositis

8. Spinal Muscular Atrophies

  • Severe (Type I)
  • Intermediate (Type II)
  • Mild (Type III)
  • Adult spinal muscular atrophy

9. Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathies

  • (Also known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth or Peroneal muscular atrophy)

10. Disorders of the Neuromuscular Junction

  • Congenital myasthenic syndromes
  • Myasthenia Gravis

11. Friedreich’s Ataxia

  • Friedreich’s Ataxia

12. Other (Please Specify)

13. Unspecified