American Veteran 01

Michael J. Dirrane

August 28, 1930 ~ July 29, 2022 (age 91) 91 Years Old
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  With great sadness we announce the sudden passing of Michael Joseph Dirrane, 91. “Iron Mike”, as he was known, was born 8/28/1930 on the beautiful Island of Inishmore, County Galway, Ireland. He was the 3rd of 8 children born to Julia Flaherty  Dirrane and Stephen Dirrane in Bungowla. His childhood was rich with adventure and he would share those stories fondly for the rest of his life. He set out for America to seek his fortune at the age of 20. After landing in Boston he joined the Laborers Local 223 Union where he just passed his 71st year as a member. He was immediately drafted by the US army and sent to Germany. Mike welcomed any and all experiences and considered his Army career as an exciting opportunity. Mike was known for his honesty and very strong work ethic.  Over the years he held many Union positions and worked in construction from a laborer to a foreman for over 30 years revitalizing the growth of Boston.  His movie star good looks and contagious smile mixed with his gentle temperament and sense of humor made him popular with everyone he met.  A self-taught scholar, Mike was an avid reader especially conversant in world news and Politics as well as American and Irish history. His ability to recall names and dates was uncanny. His second career choice was working at Boston College where he enjoyed spending time with people especially the graduate students until his retirement at the age of 81.

   Mike loved nature and life but he especially loved “his Mary”. After meeting at an Irish dance in 1955, they remained inseparable until his final day. Theirs was a love story like no other.  They loved music and dancing and working together in every aspect. Mary was his heart, confidant, best friend and wife of 66 years. Family was Mikes “pride” and together with Mary they raised 4 children.

   Mike leaves behind his wife, Mary Thrift Dirrane, children Michael Jr (Eileen) of Bedford, James of Watertown, Peggy Prendergast Doyle (Jim) of Billerica and Stephen (Habiba) of Concord.  Mike also leaves 9 grandchildren that he adored; Eden and Martin Prendergast, Aine, Michael III, Patrick, Shannon, Amal, Iman and Esma Dirrane. He also leaves a brother Padraic (Nora) from Bungowla, Inishmore, and sisters Maggie Kilgarriff of Westwood and Bridie Lundon of Galway Ireland. He also leaves his brother in law Bob Thrift (Annie) …and many nieces, nephews and friends. In Mike’s memory please remember that in a world where you can be anything…….. Choose to be kind.


Funeral from the MacDonald Rockwell & MacDonald Funeral Home at 270 Main St. Watertown Thursday August 4, 2022, at 9 AM followed by Funeral Mass in the Church of St. Patrick, 212 Main St., Watertown at 10 AM. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Interment St. Patrick Cemetery, Watertown. Visiting hours Wednesday 4-7 PM.


Scroll down to the bottom of this page to watch the services for Michael. 









To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Michael J. Dirrane, please visit our floral store.


August 3, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
MacDonald Rockwell MacDonald Funeral Home
270 Main St.
Watertown, MA 02472

Mass of Christian Burial
August 4, 2022

10:00 AM
Church of Saint Patrick
212 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472


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