Chief Information Officer Laura Dawson and Service Line Manager Adam Gale share their reflections, and messages of support from fellow DTS colleagues and our School community, below.
Last week, we had the sad news that our colleague and friend Colm O’Sullivan passed away after a long battle with leukaemia.
Laura Dawson shared: “Colm was the first person in DTS (Information Management and Technology or IMT as it was then called) to provide me with desk-side support when I first arrived. He was always calm, with dry sense of humour and a passion for travel. He was much loved by colleagues and his understated and caring approach was a hit across our School.
“Colm was someone who just got on with his job quietly and confidently but the great thing about him is he really cared about people both from the point of view of helping them with technology but also in ensuring their time at LSE was as good as it could be. He was a staunch advocate for workers rights and often would quietly but effectively challenge the status quo to the benefit of everyone in the team and leadership.”
After hearing about Colm’s passing, we received messages of support and remembrance of our brilliant colleague from across our School:
“Colm was incredibly helpful, competent, and a pleasure to work with. He had helped me many times over the years, always friendly, professional, and proactive in his approach.
“A great colleague who always worked hard to find a solution to a problem.”
“Colm always made time to have a chat, he was always happy to see you and was curious and optimistic. It was always a positive encounter.”
“He was such a friendly face. He’s another colleague who I don’t think I would ever walk past him without a smile at the very minimum, and most often we would have a friendly chat. He was such an easy-going sort of fellow, and so friendly on both a personal and professional level. I’m so sorry I didn’t know he was unwell. I looked back at our messages when I heard the news and one of those, I sent him was 2 years ago to thank him for sponsoring me for one of my runs, and he was very gracious about it. He was a hidden treasure in our department, and will be very much missed. Thinking of his family at this awful time. We are very lucky we also had Colm in our lives, however brief by comparison.”
“Colm always took the time necessary to make sure I was up and running, always polite, always helpful, always considerate of my capabilities. A true gent and champion for DTS.”
Adam Gale added: “Colm joined LSE In August 2015. I can remember his interview well. He shone as a candidate, both in the formal interview and in our scenario support test we carried out at the time. With his naturally calm and quiet approach, he stood out as the best candidate.
“He soon established himself as a member of the team – which is always daunting, especially when joining a long-established group of colleagues. It didn’t take long for him to join in with the regular team banter.”
In addition to the team, Colm was well loved and respected amongst colleagues in the rest of the division and the LSE family in general. His collegiality in the workplace was recognised as part of a divisional awards nomination where a colleague submitted the following supporting statement:
“Colm clearly takes his role here seriously and has no qualms about taking ownership of his workload, but also full accountability should anything need further attention. He is courteous, professional, and always willing to help me when he can, even when the workload here is very stretched and staff levels are particularly low. Colm is approachable, fair, and equitable, and a great asset to the team – intelligent, and fun to be with. I enjoy his company and find him easy to work with.”
Adam continued: “As his line manager, I agreed wholeheartedly with this nomination at the time, and throughout the time we worked together. His calm approach and gentle mannerism, along with his knowledge and experience were the perfect mix. I also received regular positive feedback from colleagues across LSE thanking him for his support and guidance.
“Colm was well travelled and loved to talk about his many trips he had made. He often stored his leave up to enable him to make some of those longer distance trips to the other side of the globe. He also used to enjoy his shorter European trips, and of course his visits back home to Cork. I know from our conversations in the past months that he was so very keen to travel again, or at least visit friends and family back home.
“In more recent months, I have had the privilege of talking with Colm on a regular basis, keeping him abreast of the various news and stories from around campus and DTS, as well as hearing from him how he is getting on. From the time he first let me know of his diagnosis to the last time he spoke, he was determined to overcome his illness and get back to work and his travelling. We’ve also been keeping each other amused by sharing various jokes and comical videos throughout. Alas, we didn’t manage to meet up for the coffee or lunch we had hoped, nor the beer or three we had been looking forward to.”
On behalf of DTS and LSE we are deeply saddened by Colm’s passing. He truly fought his illness and we will miss him so much.