David Michael O'Riordain (17 Sep 1957 - 23 Feb 2023)

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David MichaelPancreatic Cancer UK

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Honor Oak Crematorium Brockley Way London SE4 2LW
27th Mar 2023
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In loving memory of David Michael O'Riordain who sadly passed away on 23rd February 2023.
The eldest son of Ray & Maura O'Riordain from Ireland who settled in East London. David was the eldest brother to Michael, Alison & Steven. After living his early years in Forest Gate, the family moved to Wanstead where David attended Our Lady of Lourdes Primary school then he graduated to ST Paul's secondary School in Woodford Green. He was a good student, although he didn't pass his 11 plus and didn't attend grammar school. He was awarded 10 O'levels and 7 A levels, won a scholarship to read English at Oxford & Cambridge Universities. However, architecture was his passion, and he chose to pursue this as a career & studied at Heriot Watt University Edinburgh instead.

Whilst studying for his A levels as a young Irish East Ender he worked as a builder's mate & got many a job labouring on building sites. Discovering first-hand the construction industry demands as grass roots.

His early years were spent getting up to mischief with his brother Mikey as they rode London buses, alone, and joined the boy scouts having adventures & often getting into bother. David and Mike were inseparable & always up to something according to Maura.

David shared stories with Kathryn of attempting to look after his baby sister, who always got to decide what was on TV, being Dad's favourite, as Dave struggled to put her hair in pig tails.

David completed his post graduate studies in America and toured Europe extensively during his years of study. David first worked in Glasgow before completing his part 1 & 2 professional architectural qualifications in Nottingham. He was part of a design team completing new housing projects and a crematorium.

He returned to London aiming to break into the competitive world of design. During David's professional career he has been called Ronin, by award winning architect Arata Isozaki, as David worked on the Qatar Education City Auditorium & Conference /Exhibition Centre.

David was always hungry for interesting, big building projects and moved from building to building. A tough industry where persistence & retraining is required consistently. David honed his computer skills & researched endlessly to stay in the industry during many recessions.

After some time, he had an extensive career in retail architecture; Blue water Kent, Soli hull, Westfield White City then Stratford led him to branch out to other designs. Are to name a few.

His interests include dance, he was an avid dance fan always at London Contemporary dance theatre where David met Kathryn, a professional dancer. Apparently, at Heriot Watt David, being 6:5 was in the basketball team and had taken classical ballet lessons to improve his elevation techniques.

David loved all types of music and was such a nerd he would research and study relentlessly becoming an expert around all cultural and creative emerging arts. Always looking for the edge, or the new.

David wore Doc marten boots and quality denim and eventually had a smart collection of ties. He had his hair cut short crop style. He would be the quiet guy in the bar watching the world go by.

Later in life David began working in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia jumping around the middle east from Beirut to Dubai and Riyadh. Kathryn and David, then moved to live in KSA together often holidaying in India, Jordan, UAE and the oasis hot spots in KSA.

Nick named, 'David of Arabia', by colleagues in Dubai many who didn't like life out in rough terrain. On the contrary David adored the way the Saudi engineers took him out to the dessert for Kabsa, camping, camel beauty contests & he loved to investigate this wild strange culture.

David eventually was awarded senior design lead and the opportunity to work in the New City Neom by Tabuk. He thought it was awesome to live on a campsite with a 2-hour drive to the nearest supermarket and to be at the beginning design level of a brand-new city. Keeping company with other designers, engineers and camels.

Unfortunately, David was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer but fought this immediately and directly. He was really tough taking on 18 bouts of chemotherapy and a month of radiology. He recovered, went back to work, was putting on weight, then packed his bags for Neom. However, the laser treatment caused complications, his cancer numbers soared and so he again fought back opting for a really challenging operation.

His bravery didn't stop, he recovered again, and was doing so well learning to live without a stomach, however the toll on his body after such an operation meant further complications, too much for anyone.
We love and remember him, treasuring his remarkable spirit and achievements.

Paul Cuthbert wrote

A true 'stoic', and great mentor, I'm sure he'll continue to Master Plan the heavens above!

Greatly missed, always remembered, and never forgotten.

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Nasir Ghafoor wrote

Very very sad to hear just before sometime I have been driving for him and he was very sweet and kind person he helped a lot will miss him always and his kindness and sweetness he was loving person an honor for me that I was his driver will miss him always

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Ebaa Aletek lit a candle
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george cannon wrote

he looks like myart teacher what a yart, i miss him so muchc cxoxoxooxoxox

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Craig McLeod wrote

Since learning of David’s passing I have spent a bit of time reflecting upon a particularly difficult period of my professional life. It was a time after leading the Westfield Stratford project and unbeknownst to myself there were purported colleagues undermining me to an extreme extent. Whilst I had suspected something had been afoot from the outset of my tenure, I remained focused on the job at hand, literally, 7 days a week. Even when on one occasion, one of the exercises being undertaken against me, I turned a blind eye, looked the other way and kept focused on the project. I did not anticipate the extent to which it was eating me away.
On my last evening in the UK I had dinner with David. It was at this dinner, David showed me the only kindness that had been extended to me in my time in the UK. The kindness he showed me was a very simple human trait and that trait was Honesty.
We started the dinner with David saying to me that he has two questions for me.
After checking himself, he said maybe later.
The dinner went extremely well, conversation was great and his company was a pleasure to be with with for my last night in the UK.
But my curiosity got the better of me and I asked him what the two question where that he had for me.
Such as the impact that the last of the two questions has had on my life, I cannot for the life of me remember what that first question was.
The question he asked me had an uniformed answer that my team at Stratford presumed was true. An answer that our team at Westfield London presumed to be true. An answer that my colleagues and business partners of many years in Melbourne also presumed to also be true.
It was a rumour that was actively being spread by an Executive Director of our business and two other Directors. In understanding the circumstances behind each of those persons position or circumstance of each of those 3 people, their motivation for spreading this and other untruths along the behaviours I observed, the motivation was immediately apparent.
So what was the question David asked me?
The question he asked me was a question numerous other people I subsequently sought corroboration from, which they gave, it became apparent the reason why I never knew until my last night in London.
It is for this reason that I write this note about David and it tells you something about David.
My staff, my other colleagues never broached this subject with me because they feared the backlash, something David, I came to understand., did not fear.
He started the question with the following statements:
This may get me sacked, and
I think I already know the answer.
The the question, which he pre-empted with another statement that this rumour had been circulating since the first few months of my arrival in London (it is now 4 years later) was this;
“ Have you been fucking XX” who was a graduate staff member of my team.
The answer was an immediate and emphatic NO.
So as much as that knowledge served to spiral my professional life in a direction I would never have imagined only years earlier, I am incredibly grateful for David’s honesty, his openness and his forthright, unencumbered nature. All of these years later I am deeply grateful.
Thank you David and may you Rest in Peace.

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Alisom O’Riordan donated £40 in memory of David

Hi Dave, I miss you already. I hope you are at peace. Your sis Ali xx

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Maria Smyth Glynn donated £17.77 in memory of David
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Minerva A wrote

My deepest condolence to Katherine and David’s family. May his soul rest in eternal peace!🙏🏻

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Pádraig and Mary Neenan donated £44.38 in memory of David

Rest in peace dear cousin

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Jreena Green is attending the funeral
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Jreena Green wrote

Today is the day Katherine lay you to rest,it will feel strange to not asks how you are and hear about your work when Katherine and I met up. You always made me
feel welcome with a cup of coffee.You will be missed. Xxx

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Tim Baker donated in memory of David

A valued and very capable colleague. David was recognised by all working with him in Neom, Saudi Arabia as a valued and capable colleague. David was always calm, cheerful, welcoming, willing to learn and, with modesty, share his very considerable knowledge with others.

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Nouman Alam Siddiqui wrote

I worked with David for more than 8 years and he was one of the finest person I know. I have been in touch with him since we both left P&T Architects and always found him in high spirits during his illness. Even two days before his demise, we had a chat and he didn’t show any sign weakness.

We exchanged thousands of emails but never thought that I will be reading his obituary. I can’t help but to write him one last email with a very heavy heart.

Dear David,
We first met in P&T Architect’s Dubai Office back in 2014 and that was the start of our long journey. There are many facets to our relationship, a great Architect, great colleague, a friend, a well wisher, a person you can rely on. Our last meeting in-person just before Covid lock down was business as usual.

You liked to talk and talk about anything whether it was Architecture, Arts, Music, Religion, Politics, Sports. I will miss our long weekend chats. Many a times I come to the office with a question just to start our conversation and it was always great. We disagree many a times but you were respectful to my opinion.

Always ready take challenges, more tech-savvy then the young generation. As people mentioned, you were a geek.

And you were funny and your never ending stories. How once you bumped into her Majesty The Queen (Late) and then she talked to you for some time (though we never trusted this story, David, haha). You loved your shoes, jeans, James Bond’s suits and his British accent, basket ball, rock music, electronic gadgets and yours many a many USBs & hard drives (God knows what you were always copy/pasting). You liked desert weather in Riyadh as it suits your aging bones.

We were meant to have a dinner Me, Ebaa, Ealbuen, You and Kathryn (when she was in Riyadh) and alas it never happened.

I know David you won’t be replying to this message ever BUT may your soul rest in peace.


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Nagi Kawakata wrote

I’ve known Kathryn for more than 20yrs and been close friends since. She always talked about David, and their relationship was so strong even though they both worked in different part of the world, they had such a special trust and love between them. I feel like I know David too, but I never had the chance to meet him.

However, I can tell that David was an amazing man who were brave to create life wherever around the world, strong and loving person who always cared about Kathryn.

I send my love and respect for David.

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  • What a lovely message and a fine tribute.

    Posted by Andrew on 13/04/2023 Report abuse
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Mohammad Ahmad wrote

My heartfelt condolences to the family of David.
Had known David briefly as Design Manager Architecture at the NEOM project.

May God rest him in peace.

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Kathryn O'Riordain posted a picture
David was a West Ham supporter!!!!

David was a West Ham supporter!!!!

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Kathryn O'Riordain donated £40 in memory of David

For the Big guy

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Drue Newcomb wrote

David had a spirit of adventure, not just in travel but culture, and the arts, all of which stemmed for his love of people.

Although David and I saw each other at work, we never worked together, but that didn’t stop us from becoming friends.

I’ll miss catching up over a couple of pints, his stories and his friendship.

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Ria Tanglao posted a picture
Hanging out with David Michael whenever he visits Dubai. He has been a good ment or to Cherie and a good friend to the band.

Hanging out with David Michael whenever he visits Dubai. He has been a good ment or to Cherie and a good friend to the band.

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SAJIN SURENDRAN lit a candle

All the Savoy staff members will always miss and remember Mr David. Our sincere condolences and deepest sympathies.

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  • I'd just like to add to that, the Savoy staff where brilliant when I brought him back from hospital. You Where all so supportive and it was reassuring to know you where keeping an eye on him. Thank you

    Posted by Andrew on 21/03/2023 Report abuse
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DAVID MOURA lit a candle
PAUL DINIZ lit a candle

Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories.
All the staff members at the Savoy Hotels will always remember Mr. David as a kind, polite, and humble human being. We pray for his soul to rest in eternal peace and may the Almighty give the family the strength to overcome this grief.

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Usman Ghani lit a candle
Omar Saber wrote

Our Condolences to David’s Family, We will miss David, who was a good colleague

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