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The late Oliver Moylan of The Ennis Cash Company has been remembered as a man who made a unique contribution to his hometown. Photograph by John Kelly.

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

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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 as “an Ennis man through and through,” saying that, “With Oliver it was town first and county second.”

Mr Moylan’s funeral mass was concelebrated by Fr Patrick Conway; Bishop Emeritus, Fr Willie Walsh; Fr Joy Micle Njarakattuvely and Fr Bernard McGuckian (SJ), at The Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul in Ennis.

As the ceremony began, symbols of Mr Moylan’s life were brought to the altar. These included a measuring tape to represent a long life in business.

“Oliver was the one who measured me for my suit when I was going to the Seminary, 62 years ago,” Fr Conway told mourners.

“He measured me for the finest suit. I was the best of the 46 who entered that year in St Columban’s, Navan.”

An archaeological magazine represented Mr Moylan’s life-long interest in archaeology, local history and folklore; and an Irish dictionary symbolised his interest in Irish language and culture.

A pack of playing cards was another symbol of Mr Moylan’s interests.

“All work and no play would have made Oliver a dull boy,” Fr Conway remarked. “There was play in his life, as well. He looked forward, every Wednesday evening, to enjoying himself and he took great pleasure out of a simple pack of cards.”

A red blazer indicated Mr Moylan’s love of horse-riding and hunting with the Galway Blazers.

In his homily, Fr Conway told the congregation of how Parish Priest, Fr Tom Ryan, had gone to administer the Sacraments of the Sick to Mr Moylan three weeks previously.

He relayed how Mr Moylan had said, ‘That’s great now. I’ve been there. I’ve done that and I’m ready now to go and meet my Maker’.

“Tom Ryan was a little taken aback by the wonderful faith expressed,” Fr Conway said.

In a tribute, Peter Moylan recalled his father’s long and fruitful life. The second son of Dr Patrick Moylan and Honora Canning, Oliver Moylan was born in 1935, the fifth child of eight.

Peter Moylan described his father’s family as “a typical, large Catholic family, growing up in the 1930s”.

“They played, they fought, they looked out for one another and they prayed together,” he said.

“They prayed the Rosary every day after the evening tea. They were the children of a prominent local doctor who was also a local business man, who had access to a car during the War years when there was a lot of rationing.

“They were never short of food and they knew they were very privileged. I believe it’s that fact, combined with the example of their parents, that created a great desire in all of them to help other people.

“This is why so many went into medicine, into teaching and religious life. There was one that was destined for the family business and that child was my dad.”

Peter detailed his father’s education at the nearby Christian Brothers and his secondary education at Clongowes College where the Jesuits “imbued him with a very strong sense of independence to always stand up and argue for what you believed to be right, and to do it alone if you had to, and to always think of others and the greater good of society”.

Peter described how his father completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at University College Dublin (UCD) and secured a prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Michigan State University in America.

He also spoke fondly of how his mother had come into his father’s family shop, one day, with a friend who was returning a pair of shoes.

A Clarecastle native, Annette Madigan was only briefly back in Ireland after emigrating to the US.

“She never let on if she remembered him from the dances at Paddy Con’s, but he had never forgotten her and proposed a date,” Peter said. After their marriage, Oliver and Annette Moylan shared a love of travel, which took them to almost every country in the world.

Peter paid tribute to Michael Gardiner, Snr, and to his late aunt, Mary Gilroy, who stepped in to help run the business.

“They were really, deeply religious,” he added. “My father never went away without his Rosary beads. He prayed every day. They were tremendously, chatty friendly people and they always had time for people.”

Peter described how much his father missed his mother, when she passed away in 2020. The County Club at the Maid of Erin was described as a great comfort in the intervening years.

“Ultimately, my father really missed my mother,” he said.

Peter spoke, too, of a love of poker that he shared with his dad.

“My father was a fearsome player,” he recalled. “We both loved snooker as well.”

A force of nature, Oliver Moylan was remembered for his determination to stay active and to continue making a contribution.

“I knew my father was always going to keep going,” Peter said, “that he always had to be out there with people. He wanted to go until he dropped.”

“He will be missed,” Peter concluded. “He touched a lot of people. He was unique. You just won’t see another person like him.”

Oliver Moylan was predeceased by wife Annette; sisters Breda, Dolores and Mary; and brothers; John, Donough and Fergus. He is survived by his son Peter; daughter-in-law Dorothy; grandchildren Eoghan and Aoife; sister Elizabeth Coen; nieces, nephews and relatives; as well as a wide circle of friends and neighbours.

Fiona McGarry
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Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald.
Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti.
She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway.
If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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