It was with deep shock and sadness that we heard tonight of the passing of a very young member of the Shannon Family. Declan Sharkey from the Class of 2004 passed away yesterday, May 13th 2018.

Our thoughts are with Declan’s family, friends and classmates at this terrible time. Funeral details are available on

Rest in Peace Declan.

After the interview phase, I was convinced that I would not be accepted by Shannon. The students and faculty that I had met seemed to inhabit a different world than I did. Whilst not shy, everyone I met seemed far more self-assured and confident with more life experience.

Declan was the very first person I met at Shannon. I was sitting on my own in the restaurant at the airport. He walked over and asked to join my table. It was the first conversation I had at Shannon without any pressure to impress or have to employ any pretense or false bravado . He was a great conversationalist and spoke about his summer in Carolina in the US, his previous university experience reading arts. Simply through sharing stories and observations about our new environment, It somehow gave me the confidence I needed to get through the first day at Shannon, which I will always be grateful for.

Regardless of to whom he spoke, he always seemed interested in the learning about people’s lives, putting those in his presence at ease. When I remember him, I will always see him best as a great listener, of quick wit, great intelligence and having a great deal of respect for those around him, regardless of race or background.  I am sure my fellow alumni will mention the same. We each had our own personal relationship with Declan and we were all made the better for it.

John Ryan, Class of 2004


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