9 months ago

Westmeath Topic - 12 April 2018


8 NEWS TOPIC • 12 Aril, 2018 Bellview Heights and late of Carrick, Dalystown, Mullingar. Died peacefully on Tuesday, 3 April, surrounded by his loving family. Dearly beloved husband of Mary, loving brother of Matt, Joe, and Billy, sisters Kathleen (Raftery), Patty (Dunne), Peggy (Green), and Jean (McManus); brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, cousins, relatives, neighbours, and friends. Reposed at St Camillus Nursing Centre Chapel, Killucan, on Thursday, before removal to the Cathedral of Christ the King. Funeral Mass took place on Friday, followed by burial in Meedin Cemetery. JOHN (JACKIE) BRANAGAN Coxtown, Delvin. Died peacefully on Monday, 2 April, in the loving care of his family and friends, in his 92nd year. Beloved husband of the late Madeline and brother of the late Tommy and Anthony. Loving father of Rosemary, John, Olive, and Marcella, Jackie will be sadly missed by his son, daughters, brother Jimmy, sister Phil (Cully), sons-in-law Padraig, Ted, and Rodrigo; grandchildren Conal and Jack, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, extended family, and a large circle of friends. Reposed at his home on Wednesday before removal to the Church of the Assumption, Delvin. Funeral Mass took place on Thursday, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. MAY FITZGIBBON (NÉE CONNOLLY) Castlegreen, Tyrrellspass. Died peacefully on Wednesday, 4 April, surrounded by her loving family. Predeceased by her husband Bill and family members Kathleen, Jimmy, and Michael. Deeply regretted by her loving daughter Anne, son Liam, daughter-in-law Violet, grandchildren Laura and David, sister Phil, brother-in-law Noel, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours, and friends. Reposed at Lorcan O’Brien & Son Funeral Home, Tyrrellspass, on Thursday, 5 April, before removal to St Stephen’s Church, Tyrrellspass. Requiem Mass took place on Friday, 6 April, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. FINBARR COLLINS St Oliver’s, Killucan Road, Kinnegad. Died peacefully on Wednesday, 4 April, surrounded by his loving family. Predeceased by his parents Jerry and Hannah, and brother William. Deeply regretted by his loving wife Valerie, sons Jerry and Barry, daughter-in-law Niamh, sisters Kathleen Lynch, Nora McCarty, Tess Bliss, and Marion Nelson, grandchildren, and his godchild Emma, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, cousin, relatives, and friends. Reposed at St Camillus Nursing Centre Chapel, Killucan, on Friday before removal to St Mary’s Church, Kinnegad. Funeral Mass took place on Saturday, followed by burial in St Finian’s Cemetery, Clonard. KAREN HART Mount Carmel Drive, Moate. Died peacefully on Thursday, 5 April. Beloved partner of Mark, and DEATH NOTICES loving mother of sons Darah and Thomas; daughter Stacey. Karen will be sadly missed by her loving mother, father, brothers, relatives, and friends. Reposed at her home on Friday, 6 April, before removal to Bluebell Church, Dublin. Requiem Mass took place on Saturday morning, 7 April, followed by cremation in Mount Jerome Crematorium. ROSE O’HARA (NÉE KING) Marian House, Tubber, Moate. Died on Saturday, 7 April. Wife of the late Sean. Deeply regretted by her loving family, Maureen (Bray), Joe (Tulsk), Edel (Ballycumber), Sean (Tubber), Grainne (Castledaly), Louise (Tubber), Paschal (USA), Lenny (Moate), Valerie (Galway), Denise (Moate), Mike (Rashina); brothers Pat Joe (Texas), Christy (Tubber), and Tony (Beaumont); sisters Bridie and Betty (Navan), sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, sister-in-law, her thirty-four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours, and friends. Reposed at Flynn’s Funeral Home, Moate, on Monday before removal to the Church of the Holy Family, Tubber. Funeral Mass took place on Tuesday, followed by burial in Kilcurley Cemetery, Tubber. JOHN (JOHNNY) NUGENT Caucestown, Athboy, Co. Meath; formerly of Clonmorrill, Delvin. Died on Saturday, 7 April in his 92nd year. Predeceased by his brothers James (Benny), Austin, Pat-Joe, Chris, and Vincent; and by his sisters Margaret and Mary. Beloved husband of Rose and treasured father of Julieann, Catherine, Pauline, Carmel, Sean, Roseita, Stella, Micheál, Patrick, and Mary Theresa. Johnny will be sadly missed by his devoted wife, sons, daughters, sister Phil (Devitt), sisters-inlaw, brothers-in-law, sons-inlaw, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, extended family, and a large circle of friends. Reposed at Mullen’s Funeral Home, O’Growney St, Athboy, on Tuesday, 10 April, before removal to St James’ Church, Athboy. Funeral Mass took place on Wednesday afternoon, 11 April, followed by burial in Crowenstown Cemetery. MATTHEW (MATTIE) MURRAY Royal Canal and formerly of D’Alton Park, Mullingar. Died peacefully on Saturday, 7 April, surrounded by his loving family, after an illness bravely borne with great dignity and courage. Predeceased by his brother Pat. Loved and much adored father of Dawn (Shaw), Darren, Mark, and Anita (Penrose), and dear friend of Geraldine. Mattie will be forever missed by his heartbroken children, much loved grandchildren Joshua, Aoife, Daniel, Erin, Freya, Scott, Seán, and Logan; step-grandchildren John and Harry, sons-in-law Nicky and Rob, daughters-in-law Paula and Demelza, his heartbroken sisters Bernie, Annette, Delia, Siobhan, Catherine, Lauraine, and Marguerite; brothersin-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, and many friends. Reposed at Shaw’s Funeral Home on Monday, 9 April, before removal to the Cathedral of Christ the King. Funeral Mass took place on Tuesday, 10 April, followed by burial in Ballyglass Cemetery. KATHLEEN KEATING (NÉE BISSENDEN) Ginnell Terrace, Mullingar. Died on Sunday, 8 April. Beloved wife of the late Jack. Loving mother of Tommy, Margaret, Cathy, Johnny, Jody, Mary, and Paul. Deeply regretted by her sons and daughters, her sister May, sons-in-law, daughtersin-law, 20 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives, and a large circle of friends. Reposed on Monday, 9 April in the Newbrook Nursing Home Chapel before removal to St Paul’s Church, Mullingar. Funeral Mass took place on Tuesday, 10 April, followed by burial in Ballyglass Cemetery. ETHNA GLYNN (NÉE FLYNN) Bray, Co. Wicklow; formerly of Killucan, and Finglas, Co. Dublin. Died peacefully on Saturday, 7 April in her 98th year. Beloved wife of the late Kit. Loving mother of Breda, Elma, Mike, Eithne, and the late Chris. Sadly missed by her son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Service of Thanksgiving on Wednesday, 11 April in the Nazarene Community Church, Burnaby Lawns, Greystones, Co. Wicklow, followed by burial in Shanganagh Cemetery. MELLISSA KEEGAN (NÉE DOWDALL) Sycamore Lawns, Kinnegad; also Clonard, Meath. Died on Saturday, 7 April. Predeceased by her mother Tess. Deeply regretted by her loving family, sons Aaron, Adam, and Keane; grandchildren Emily and Mya, her father Phil, brothers Tom, Glenn, and Philip; sisters Clarissa, Audrey, and Arlene; Aaron’s partner Savannah, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family, and friends. Reposed at her residence on Tuesday, before removal to St Mary’s Church, Kinnegad. Funeral Mass took place on Wednesday, followed by burial in St Finian’s Cemetery, Clonard. ANNE (CHRISTINE) KEARY Tower View, Ballynacargy. Died peacefully on Saturday, 7 April. Predeceased by her parents Jim and Theresa. Sadly missed by her loving family, her partner Jim, daughter Mollie, sister Mary, brother Seamus, Benny and Poods, nephew Dylan, brother-in-law Pat, cousins, relatives, and friends. Reposed at Mullingar Hospital Mortuary on Wednesday before removal to Ballyncargy Church. Funeral Mass took place on Thursday, followed by burial in Sonna Cemetery. At noon on Good Friday, 30 March, the annual devotions at Fr. Shanley’s Grave in the ancient Carrick burial ground, five miles south of Mullingar, on the old N52 road, were held, including the Rosary and prayers, led by Fr. William Coleman, PP Rochfortbridge. The weather once again obliged, despite the generally cold and unpleasant conditions, and this year’s attendance was very impressive. Fr. Shanley’s Grave, in Carrick graveyard, has been attracting supplicants and people seeking spiritual help for more than a century and a half - in fact, since the time of Fr. Shanley’s death in 1835. It is still constantly visited, all year round, but especially at Easter time. Once again, on Good Friday this year, when the devotions were held, the tokens left behind by visitors, including rosary beads, medals, coins, inhalers, children’s toys and various other items, were to be seen, left by those seeking Fr. Shanley’s intercession, or in thanksgiving for favours received. Pat McKerr, Tyrrellspass, who acted as MC on Good Friday, referred to the regretted passing of Larry Arthur, Tyrrellspass, who had for so long provided the music for hymn singing at the Carrick devotions, and he expressed thanks to all who had helped out in organising the occasion, and to Fr. Coleman for leading the prayers. A special word of thanks is due to Johnny Carroll, employed on an RSS scheme, who has been doing great work at Carrick graveyard in keeping the burial ground in very good shape, and also to his supervisor, Majella Boyhan. Johnny is involved in repairing parts of the graveyard wall at present. Thanks are also due to those who erected a new cross at Fr. Shanley’s grave. Fr. Timothy Shanley, from Drumraney, was the Rochfortbridge parish priest from 1825 to 1835. Born in 1781, he began Fr. William Coleman PP leading the prayers at the Good Friday devotions in Carrick cemetery. Big numbers at Carrick Graveyard for Good Friday devotions studies for the priesthood in Maynooth nineteen years later. He ministered in the diocese up to the time of his death in 1835, at the age of 54, when serving in Rochfortbridge. He was the first Irish educated priest to minister in the parish in centuries, since the late Middle Ages, and was held in great regard during his lifetime, and has been since. (About two decades ago, the annual devotions on Good Fridays were put on a firm footing by a small group terming themselves “Friends of Fr. Shanley”, with the late Mrs. Kathleen Wright, Milltownpass, one of the prime movers. The group are to be complimented on their continuing good work at Carrick, with John Joe Brady now acting as unofficial co-ordinator.) Some of the people at the annual devotions at Fr. Shanley’s grave in Carrick. Visitors to Carrick Graveyard on Good Friday, including Ann Francis, Dominick and Maura Kelly, Rose Lynch, Attracta Purcell and Penny Downes, praying at the grave of their former neighbours, the late Charles and Martha Keegan from Gurteen, Lynn, who died in the 1980s. Their grave is possibly the last in the old cemetery.

TOPIC • 12 April, 2018 NEWS 9 Ollie Kennedy (bottom left) pictured with The Fairways. A photo from over twelve years ago reuniting key members in the showband era: Sean Kenny (RIP), Mick Foster, Joe O’Hehir (RIP), Ollie Kennedy and Billy Mac(Auley). Mullingar music man Ollie Kennedy’s incredible career BY: CLAIRE CORRIGAN Ollie Kennedy, another of the very well known Mullingar musicians and personalities who played a key role over the decades in the rich tapestry of talent that created the town and area’s remarkable musical history and heritage, was born with a deep love for music. Telling us something of his remarkable story, Ollie explained that his mother, Kathleen, who hailed from Multyfarnham, played the accordion, and her own father played the mouth organ as well as the accordion, “A couple of us from the The Young Outlaws (Ollie’s first band) were playing at a wedding in Broder’s Hotel (now The Newbury), along with Albert Creighton. I looked out the window and saw my grandfather playing the mouth organ and dancing. All my brothers played guitar as well,” Ollie recalled. After his father Billy passed away, when Ollie was just 12, he left for England with an older brother, where he attended school until the age of 14 before finding work at a hotel. “We were a big family - 13 including my father and mother and I was the second youngest.” After returning to Mullingar for a visit, Ollie decided to remain at home to look after his mother. “My mother was on her own. I gave her the £300 I Ollie Kennedy pictured performing in Clarke’s Bar, Mullingar. had saved to have the house done up and so she could buy a few bits and pieces.” The Mullingar man said his love of music was shaped by legendary sixties international artistes such as Buddy Holly, The Beatles and Del Shannon, but it wasn’t until his late teens that Ollie took up an instrument after he got a gift of a guitar. “A brother of mine came home to visit from Australia by boat stopping in different places along the way, including Bombay, where he bought a guitar, which he gave to me.” With no lessons available at the time, Ollie set about trying to tune the instrument himself. “I tuned it as best I could so I could sing along to it and figured out a way to do that myself. There was a woman up on Patrick Street called Mrs. Goff and she used to play the ukulele and the banjo, so I brought the guitar over to her and she tuned it like a banjo so then I had to learn it a different way again,” he laughed. Unfortunately, the back of the guitar fell off after Ollie used it shield himself from the rain. “The water went inside and the back fell off the guitar. I tried to fix it, but couldn’t. My brother sold the guitar to Ben Dolan, who was a carpenter, for 30 shillings, who gave it to Joe.” Ollie soon started a job at Martin’s Garage on Harbour Street, where he received £1 a week before becoming a milkman at Bracklyn Dairy. “I borrowed some money from one of the drivers, Mick Carthy, and I bought a guitar and amplifier in O’Brien’s in Rochfortbridge. Years ago, you had to go up to Walton’s in Dublin to buy instruments, but some of the shops would order them for you.” Around this time, Ollie, along with three former school chums, started a group called The Young Outlaws. “We played The Beatles who were big at the time. We got a few gigs in the youth club in town and I think we used to get a pound or two a night. Johnny Mullen used to hire amplifiers and we would hire a microphone from him, which was half the money, so all we were left with was half a crown or five shillings apiece,” he laughed. THE CLASSIC DAYS Later on, Ollie was approached by a band in the town called The Classic Showband. “One of the lads was in the army in the Curragh and was the brother of Willie Bryan from Walsh Island who was captain of the Offaly Senior football team who won the All-Ireland. We wanted to go professional but a lot of the members had good jobs that they didn’t want to leave.” At the time, an Edenderry band called The Agents were forming and three members of the Classic Showband, including Ollie, decided to join up, “That was the start of the recording and writing songs. We had a couple of hits including Flippity Flop and Yoko Ono. I had been writing material at home but I never did anything with it. The two boys in the band, Gary Streete, who was the lead singer and the guitar player, mostly did the writing.” When Mick Clerkin, Daniel O’Donnell’s former manager and business partner of 30 years, started managing the band, they changed their name to The Fairways. “We toured Germany in 1966 and ’67. We had an awful hard time getting money out of them. They wouldn’t pay us and’there was eight of us in the band and we all slept in the one room. There was a sink, a toilet bowl, two bunk beds and the rest were sleeping on the ground.” The lads played the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, the same venue where the The Beatles completed several extended residencies that proved to be a crucial turning point for the struggling band. “Gary Streete was an English guy with us - great singer, great entertainer. He was bitten by the same dog that bit Paul McCartney and that was his claim to fame! We recorded two songs with Tony Sheridan there who worked with The Beatles.” NEXT WEEK: Ollie’s memories of thumbing to Dublin to visit Walton’s music shop, giving Niall Horan his first guitar lessons, and how ‘After All These Years’ was written and recorded.

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