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Obituaries

Clare Champion Obituaries

Remembering Kevin Stapleton

By Peter O’Connell ONE of Clare’s best-known GAA supporters passed away recently. Kevin Stapleton, who was 92, was born in Limerick and reared in Kilkee but lived and worked for 46 years in England. Resident in Ennis since his return to Ireland in 1989, he was a regular at Clare hurling and football games. He was also a colourful contributor to The Clare Champion letters page. In an interview with The Clare Champion in October 2012, Kevin recalled growing up in West Clare. “I was born in Limerick but I was in Kilkee at nine weeks old. My mother died at birth, so I never saw her,” he recounted sadly. Kevin and his twin brother, Thomas, were reared by their grandmother, Bridget Stapleton, whom they treated as their mother. She was a woman with straightforward convictions, as evidenced by Kevin’s name change around the time of his confirmation. It turns out his name was not actually Kevin. “When I was christened, …

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The late John O'Donoghue

A man for all seasons

HE was famously known around Ennis as “the man with the tractor”. Yet there was a lot more to John O’Donoghue, a whole lot more. In the first instance, he was a son, a brother, an uncle, a neighbour and, above all else, a friend. A man who neither backed down nor backed off when put to the test, a man with an iron will when he had made his mind up and a person who lived every one of his 93 years without fear. To further enhance his many hidden qualities, he was a passionate GAA man, an engrossing political enthusiast and an outstanding conversationalist and raconteur. John was born in the townland of Drumcreen on the borders of Dysart and Kilnamona in June 1920. He was the second child of Jack and Mary O’Donoghue (née Kelly). His sister, Bridie, married in Crusheen and became the mother of the famous Tierney clan there. John inherited the family farm when …

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The late Michael Flynn

Death of former Kilrush council member

THE death took place recently of Michael Flynn, Moore Street, Kilrush, the former public representative and prominent businessman. He was a member of a family who had close links with the commercial life of West Clare for many years. Aged 73 years and a native of Moore Street, Michael was educated at the local CBS schools, after which he joined and later ran the well-known family grocery shop and bakery business set up by his late father, Michael and mother, Madge. Flynn’s bakery was a household name and Michael became a popular and familiar figure, making bread deliveries to various parts of Clare. He also took an interest in politics and decided to run for election to Kilrush Urban District Council in 1979 on the Fianna Fáil ticket. He was successful at his first attempt and it was a proud occasion for him when he was elected chairman of the council in 1982. He wore the chain of office with …

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The late Ann O'Connor

The late Ann O’Connor

THE death took place recently of Ann O’Connor, 68 Corrovorrin Grove, Ennis. She was a native of Charleville in North Cork and had been living in Ennis for more than 40 years. Ann, who was a daughter of local man, Jim Ryan, and the former Julia McAuliffe, who was from the North Kerry area, was educated locally, after which she commenced her working career in Murray’s drapery shop in Charleville. Later, she met and married Jim O’Connor from Dromcollogher, County Limerick, who was employed in the local Moran’s drapery shop branch. After they got married in Charleville in 1970, they moved to Ennis when Jim was appointed manager of the newly-opened Moran’s drapery shop in O’Connell Street. They quickly established themselves in Ennis and became popular members of the local community. Ann got involved in local activities and among the groups she was associated with was the Ennis CBS Ladies Committee, a group she was a valued member of for …

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Death of Clare GAA President

By Seamus Hayes;   The death took place at the weekend of one of Clare’s best known GAA personalities, Henry Neylon from the Michael Cusacks club. At the time of his death, Hendy, as he was affectionately known, held the post of president of Clare GAA In July of 2012, I spoke with Henry as he celebrated his 90th birthday and a week before his beloved Ml. Cusacks club held a functon to mark the 50th anniversary of the North Clare club. A week earlier the club’s junior team had captured the Clare division 4 football league title. Henry spoke passionately about his beloved club and about a lifetime of involvement in the GAA. He played for Carron in 1944 when they won the junior novice title, beating Moveen in the final. Two years later the club was known as BellHarbour and he was a member of the team which beat Caherea in the junior championship in Miltown. “We had …

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The late Michael Lynch

Tributes paid to the late Mickey Lynch

MANY tributes were made during the week to the late Michael Lynch snr, the well-known building contractor and hotelier who died in the early hours of last Monday morning at his home on Clare Road, Ennis. Aged 85 years, he was one of the best known personalities in the Mid-West through his construction company and the West County Inn Hotel. From humble beginnings, he pioneered a company which saw off competition to win contracts for major construction developments in the region, including the former Syntex (now Roche) Ireland in Clarecastle, the ESB generating station in Moneypoint and Irish Cement Ltd. Born in Drumbiggle on September 12, 1928, he moved to Ballyea two years later after his father, Jim, received a divide of land from the Land Commission and built a house on it. The second eldest of a family of nine, Mickey, as he was popularly known, attended Ballyea National School but left when he was in fifth class to …

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