The tragic death of Tom O’Gorman over the weekend has come as a huge shock to everyone in the Irish pro-life movement.
Tom was a loyal supporter of the Pro Life Campaign for many years, always ready to put his very considerable talents in research, analysis and writing to use for the good of the pro-life cause. He did not seek out praise or even acknowledgement of his hard work; much of it was done in the background where he worked with diligence and dedication for a cause he truly believed in. The fact remains that much of the work carried out by the Pro Life Campaign over the past number of years could simply not have taken place without Tom’s involvement.
As a student of history in University College Dublin, Tom was a lynch-pin of the Student LIFE Society which grew in strength and numbers during his years there. Part of that growth was due to Tom’s winning personality which meant that people were drawn to him, and then to the causes he espoused. Tom worked hard to spread the pro-life message while in college but his manner was never over-bearing or rude. On the contrary, Tom was a kind and gentle person whose innate humanity shone forth at all times.
Everyone who met Tom came away with an enhanced sense of their own worth, born from the experiences of his interest in them as a human being. In this sense, he lived the pro-life message fully; a respecter of human life, yes, but more than that – someone who was genuinely interested in everyone he met.
In this, Tom was something of a phenomenon. He was a “people person” par excellence and a kind man who loved meeting people and getting to know them and share their lives. As the news of his death has spread on television and social media, the outpourings of sadness and memories of his goodness are reflections of the huge circle of people he knew whose lives he touched.
Tom had many friends throughout the world, particularly in the US. He loved the cut and thrust of American politics and would often visit during election years, where he loved nothing better than to take an active part in the campaign. A memorial service has been organised by his friends in Washington.
Those of us who were privileged to call Tom a friend will remember the many times he entertained us with his hilarious impressions of politicians and celebrities of the day. We will remember his lovely smile, his great sense of humour and his ability to make everyone he met feel good about themselves.
While Tom’s loss will be keenly felt by the Irish pro-life movement, we will honour his memory by re-doubling our efforts to work towards preserving the culture of life that was so important to him.
Tom is survived by his brother, Paul, and his sister, Catherine. The Pro Life Campaign extends its condolences to them, and to Tom’s extended family and many friends, both in Ireland and around the world.
May he rest in peace.
LifeNews Note: Cora Sherlock writes for the ProLife Campaign.