The news of Sally O'Neill's death caused great shock and sadness as the tragic news spread on Monday. Sally was a long-term friend of GOAL’s and a truly exceptional person. Her passion for her human rights work in Central America and around the world over the past 37 years has been inspritational and we are grateful of the support that Sally offered to GOAL and the wider development and social justice community.
Although Sally retired from Trócaire in recent years, she has remained an active advocate and voice for the rights of the marginalised and dispossessed. She was travelling in rural Guatemala and returning from a mission with colleagues from the Global Fund for Human Rights and a senior Representative from the Council of Indigenous Rights in Guatemala when the tragic accident occurred.
Sally died as she lived, fighting for the rights of poor and indigenous communities in Central America.
CEO of GOAL, Siobhan Walsh, has expressed sincerest sympathies from everyone at GOAL.
“Sally was an inspiration to so many and her legacy will live on her for a long time in Ireland and Central America. What a profound loss of life this is. Sally was such an extraordinary person.”
Bernard McCaul, GOAL’s Regional Director in Central America recalls how Sally was there to lend him a helping hand whenever he needed it.
“Sally has been an inspirational figure in this region and respected by all walks of life in Central America. She has been a true friend to GOAL over many years. She was always the first person for new country directors to meet when they arrived in country for GOAL."
"She was an amazing lady and full of energy right up to the end. Her no nonsense attitude and her passion for this region and human rights were infectious. She has been hugely influential in Central America and many other places around the world.”
The terrible loss of this remarkable woman will be felt in Central America, Ireland and many other parts of the world. Always on the side of justice, Sally’s commitment never wavered.
GOAL will remember Sally deeply and fondly in our hearts and strive to uphold the same values that she championed throughout her life.