A much-loved Burntwood businessman and popular figure in the construction and residential development sectors has died following a short illness, his family and colleagues confirmed today.
Noel Sweeney was Chairman of Tara Developments, which includes Chasetown Civil Engineering, residential property developers Cameron Homes and Galliers Homes and affordable homes specialist Keon Homes.
He was 76 and leaves behind his wife Carmel, four children – Charmaine, Aisling, Blaithin and Sinead – and 12 grandchildren.
Noel and Carmel also had a son, Oisin, who sadly passed away aged 35.
Born in Corrigeen, Ireland, Noel was the second of eight children and grew up on a farm before starting work aged 19. He became manager of a factory in Longford aged 26 and moved to Birmingham in 1972, initially working as an office manager for an international business. While working in the city, he met an old school friend who was employed on a local building site and, after a weekend working alongside him, Noel’s love of the building industry was born, even if he admitted from the off that he was better with a pen than a shovel!
The family relocated to Chasetown (Staffordshire) in the summer of 1972, where they have lived ever since, with Noel setting up Chasetown Civil Engineering in 1974 and Cameron Homes.
A practising Roman Catholic, Noel was bestowed the Order of St Gregory in 2019, for his contribution above and beyond the life of the church – one of five papal knighthoods awarded by the Catholic church.
He was an active supporter of a number of charities, helping fund a new centre for the charity Sense in Birmingham and the new Catholic Church in Burntwood. He also supported the English and Irish College in Rome, the education department of Derby County Football Club’s Youth Academy, St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Chasetown, Cardinal Griffin School in Cannock and sponsored many local agricultural shows in Ireland.
A sports enthusiast, he was president of Chasetown Football Club, a keen supporter of Burntwood Rugby Club and also kept a number of racehorses in training.
The Sweeney family said: “Our family is heartbroken, he was our much-loved husband, dad, father-in-law and papa. Family was very important to him and we are comforted in knowing how much he loved us, especially our mum (Carmel) whom he adored and was often heard quoting “was the reason for his success.
“He had a huge heart and was extremely compassionate and committed to his family, to those who worked for him and to the many charities he supported. We are so proud to have been able to call him ours”.
John Crabtree, friend, trustee and Chairman of Tara Developments Limited, said: “Everyone is deeply saddened by Noel’s death.
It is a huge loss to us all, he touched every part of the business and was held in such affection. We will miss his all-knowing presence, intuition, wisdom and counsel, charm, passion, enthusiasm and kindness. Noel was a very successful, highly respected business leader; he had a unique way of connecting with people. He brought out the best in people, making everyone feel valued and important; he always had a lot of time for the people he met and took a keen interest in their lives. He was truly a great man.”
Due to impact of Coronavirus regulations on all funerals at the current time, the burial will be private. Details of a commemorative mass will be announced when restrictions are lifted in due course.
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Chasetown Civil Engineering
Chasetown Civil Engineering was established in 1974 on the founding principles of first-class client service, operating with integrity and treating people with respect. These principles have underpinned the success of the business over the last 40 years and remain central to its daily operations. Chasetown Civil Engineering is a market leading civil engineering business, based in Staffordshire, delivering high quality, innovative solutions specialising in infrastructure and ground works. Its clients span across the Midlands, working on projects valued from £100,000 to £50million.
Formed in 1994, Cameron Homes is a leading Staffordshire-based house builder with open market developments throughout the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire. More than 20 years since it laid the foundations of its first development, Cameron Homes’ reputation for providing remarkable new homes and exceptional customer experience is stronger than ever. From the integrity and professionalism of its expert team to the respect and consideration it gives its customers, everything Cameron Homes does is carried out with meticulous attention to detail and the utmost care.
Established in 1987, Galliers Homes is a Shrewsbury-based house builder delivering high quality, open market new homes throughout Shropshire and the Welsh Borders. Understanding that a home is more than just bricks and mortar is central to the Galliers’ belief. Whether you’re just beginning to look for your first home or preparing to move into the home of your dreams, Galliers Homes is with you every step of the way, offering honest advice, invaluable support and first-class aftercare.
Established in 2018 as a division of highly successful regional company Tara Developments, Keon Homes works with Registered Providers, Local Authorities and other partners to build social housing, in addition to building homes for private sale and the private rental market.
The Order of St Gregory
The five categories of papal knighthood are, in descending rank, the Supreme Order of Christ, the Order of the Golden Spur, the Order of Pius IX, the Order of St Gregory the Great, and the Order of St Sylvester Pope and Martyr. The Order of St Gregory is for conspicuous lay service to the Church on the recommendation of a diocesan bishop with the support of the papal nuncio.