“A True Gentleman” 

 A great sadness descended on the parish when news of Mike O’Connor’s illness broke a couple of weeks ago. Never a man to complain he had kept going far longer than his health would allow and eventually he was hospitalised. We all hoped he would recover and be back amongst us again but it was not to be and he was buried on Sunday last, August 5th. Many tributes were made to Mike at the funeral Mass which was celebrated by Fr. O’Gorman, Parish Priest in Tournafulla assisted by Fr. Bowen and Canon Kelly. They all mentioned the fact that Mike was a quiet, hardworking family man who was always ready to help out in any situation and the fact that he accepted his untimely end with great dignity. I got to know him through his involvement with FAS and particularly his work with the “Lucky Numbers” draw. Not only did he sell tickets in Athea but he also sold in Abbeyfeale and Tournafulla. Pat Sweeney R.I.P. had been distributing and collecting the tickets until his sudden death and after the funeral Mike volunteered to take over that role and has been doing it ever since. Even when he was sick in hospital his last words to the family when they were leaving were “don’t forget to pick up the tickets”. In all my years with Mike I never once heard him raise his voice or lose his temper. He went about his tasks in a mild manner and always got them done on time. He will be sadly missed by his wife Biddy and family and also by the wider community that he served so selflessly. There is a song with the title “only the good die young” and that is certainly true in Mike’s case. He was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. May he rest in peace.


“Another Giant Gone”

Con Houlihan, probably the greatest sports writer of them all, died over the weekend. Con hailed from Castleisland and worked in Dublin for many years covering many different sports. To look at him you would think he was coming from the bog or the meadow and in truth that is where he longed to be. He never changed his accent, to such an extent that  his colleagues sometimes found it difficult to understand him. When it came to writing he was unequalled. He brought the ordinary country pursuits into his column regularly mentioning fishing for trout, footing turf in Lyreacrompane or having a day out at the pattern day in Knocknagoshel. He described Knocknagoshel as the real capital of Kerry.

I remember his description of an unfit soccer player back in the ‘70s. He wrote: “he ran after the ball with all the alacrity of a man answering a post Christmas summons from his bank manager”.  Con was a very modest man and liked to hide the fact that he was a scholar of both Greek and Latin and had one of the finest intellects of his gene

ration. We certainly will never see his likes again. May he rest in peace.

C.D. Printing on the Move

C.D. Printing are moving their printing works from the Village in the near future. The move is a short one to Cratloe. I got a shed purpose built at home and will operate from there. There will still be an office in the village so it will be business as usual. The reasons for the move are many but mainly it is about the downturn in business and  the increase in overheads. I am also scaling down a little now that I am getting the pension and I can have more time for myself.

Domhnall de Barra


 Domhnall de Barra