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Clare Champion Obituaries

Football fanatic and poteen maker Robin mourned in Clare

POTEEN maker, Gaelic Football fanatic, Ladies’ Football coach, storyteller and member of Kilkishen Wren Boys – Robin O’Connell was one of the most colourful characters in South-East Clare. The father-of-three celebrated his 86th birthday recently with a function in the Tail Race Bar, Parteen, where he was feted by family and friends, but on Friday, August 26, he died peacefully in University Hospital Limerick (UHL) following a stroke four days earlier. Robin was prosecuted at Sixmilebridge District Court on numerous occasions for making poteen in a still at a derelict cottage on his uncle’s farm near the sprawling South-East Clare village. In 1997, Robin was fined €1,000 or in default three months in jail after he was convicted for the manufacture of alcohol without a licence. In early September that day he was visited by a Garda who informed him he would have to take him to prison unless he paid the fine. However, Robin volunteered to go to prison …

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Late Oliver mourned: ‘You just won’t see another person like him’

THE LATE Oliver Moylan was remembered at his Requiem Mass last Sunday (August 7) as a man of business, a man of faith and a man devoted to his family, his culture and his native town. Mr Moylan was a prominent businessman and owner of The Ennis Cash Company. Dating back to 1880, the shop is a landmark in the town centre and in the town’s history. Oliver Moylan had been at the helm since the late 1950s and, even in the weeks before he passed away, he continued to play an active role in the development of Ennis, attending the July meeting of the Chamber of Commerce sharing his rich insights and ideas. In a tribute, CEO of Ennis Chamber, Margaret O’Brien commended Mr Moylan’s “strong civic spirit” and contribution to several organisations including Ennis Golf Club, Ennis Tennis Club, Ennis Chamber, Chambers Ireland, Clare Local Development Company (CLDC), and the Clare Association of An Taisce. She described him …

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Oliver, a huge figure in the life of Ennis, passes away

The term ‘larger than life’ can be over-used, but in the case of Oliver Moylan RIP it’s the perfect description, writes Margaret O’Brien. Oliver was never short of an opinion and had the courage of his own convictions. However, his arguments were tempered with charm and wry humour. An Ennis man through and through. With Oliver it was town first and county second. He grew up in Ennis, he swam at the Turret, played tennis at Ennis Tennis Club, golfed at Ennis Golf Club and ran a successful family business in the heart of town. He had a strong civic spirit and served as President Ennis Golf Club, Ennis Tennis Club and Ennis Chamber, while also serving on the board of Chambers Ireland. He was a director CLDC and served as Chair of the Clare Association of An Taisce. Oliver has been at the helm of Ennis Cash Company since taking over from his father Dr Patrick Moylan in 1958. …

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McNamara pays tribute to courageous leader Trimble 

TRIBUTES have been paid by one of Clare’s Independent TDs on the passing, this week, of former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) leader, David Trimble. Deputy Michael McNamara said it was fitting, on the eve of the Scariff Harbour Festival, which is now entering its third decade, to remember Mr Trimble’s contribution to peace on the island of Ireland. The festival’s main sponsor is Waterways Ireland, an organisation established under the Good Friday Agreement. The peace deal was finalised in 1998 by a team including Mr Trimble, and political leaders from all sides of the political divide. In 2000, Scariff became the southern regional headquarters of the cross-border navigational authority, following a decision of the North-South Ministerial Council. This prompted the idea of building links with the North of Ireland at cultural, political, community and sporting levels and led to the setting up, in 2003, of the Scariff Harbour Festival. This year’s event runs from Friday (July 29) to Sunday. “I …

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Late Pat, one of Clare’s great hurlers and big student of the game

PAT HENCHY was a great student of hurling and there was nothing he liked better than following the fortunes of Clare when they scaled the heights in big championship games at Munster or All-Ireland level. He was the same in his support of Cuala — his adopted club in Dublin that won Leinster and All-Ireland titles in 2017 and ’18 as Con O’Callaghan marked himself down as the best dual star in the land. Clare and Cuala in full flow — there was nothing like it for Pat as he studied, analyzed, mused and marvelled about the qualities of the modern game in terms of skill, speed and the confidence, swagger and derring do in players like Tony Kelly, Con O’Callaghan and others at the top of their game. His great friend of Clare hurling stock, Leo McGough, who comes from Carlow via Inagh, told a great story about him ahead of the 2013 All-Ireland replay when he picked the …

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Tributes paid to unique guitarist Dennis Cahill

GUITARIST Dennis Cahill who collaborated to great acclaim with Feakle’s Martin Hayes passed away last week. Born in Chicago to Kerry parents, he was widely regarded as an exceptional talent. A statement on Cahill’s website written by fellow musician Jimmy Keane announced his passing, this Monday, June 20. “Our dearest Dennis passed away peacefully on Monday evening, with his beloved Mary by his side as she has throughout his journey. “Just moments before — we were comforting Dennis while The Lament for Limerick from Dennis’ album with Martin was on in the background — and as the track advanced to My Love is in America, Mary turned off the player, leaned over to hug and kiss Dennis one last time – and then he was gone…” President Michael D Higgins paid tribute to Dennis. “It is with great sadness that those with a love of traditional Irish music across Ireland, his native Chicago and around the world will have heard …

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Tributes paid on passing of Tulla’s Cornelia Wahli

THE joy and enthusiasm brought by Swiss native, Cornelia Wahli, to her adopted home in Tulla, was remembered at her funeral mass last Sunday (June 12). A passionate environmentalist, Cornelia came to Ireland as an au pair, bidding farewell to her native Frauenfeld in Thurgau, Switzerland. She lived for a time in Dublin, and later on Tory Island, before moving to Clare and becoming deeply involved in community life and environmental activism. She was a prominent member of The Clare Public Participation Network (PPN) and the instigator of climate initiatives including ‘Operation Deplastification’ and ‘Slim Your Bin’. Cornelia had also made a major submission to the forthcoming Clare County Development Plan. In it, she urged people to work towards an organic and chemical-free Clare over the coming decades. She told The Champion, at the time, that the inspiration for this vision was her granddaughter and other children whom she hoped would grow up in a flourishing environment.  In Tulla, Cornelia …

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Late Hilary had true love of life and made time for everyone

A BAREFIELD teacher renowned for her love of languages has been remembered as an “inspiration” following her passing. Hilary Anne Niehues (nee Doyle) grew up in Dublin and spent several years in Germany before returning with her husband Wilhelm to Ireland and settling in Barefield. She taught in a number of Clare schools and has been fondly remembered by her many neighbours, colleagues and friends. Her good friend Marion Coughlan Flynn, former principal of St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart was recently moved to honour Hilary by gathering together a collection of moving tributes from those who knew her. She first met Hilary as a mature student of German in the ‘90s. “A real lady she was; kind, empathetic, selfless, good humoured – a real decent human being. Many an evening I returned from school to find a bag of scones, a tart, a carton of cream and of course home-made marmalade hanging on the back door. Birthdays were never …

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