JOE McManus, Upper Mace, Claremorris, who died recently, was born in the historic year of 1916. A native of Cloonmore, Ballindine, he was one of a family of eight and was the second last surviving member of his generation of the family.
Joe (93) was one of the most senior members of the community in the general Barnacarroll region. He came to reside in Mace back in 1948 when he married Cissie Burke. She died in 1992.
Ballindine NS provided Joe with his early education. Like so many of his generation, he crossed the Irish Sea where he worked for twelve years on the farms, mainly in the Yorkshire and Lancashire regions. Joe had a tremendous affinity with the land and the soil and work in the big towns and cities of England never held any interest for him at all.
Joe and Cissie raised a family of four, two daughters and two sons. They had their own heavy cross to shoulder with the death of their son Martin back in 1984.
Over the years, Joe worked many a long and hard day on the family farm in Mace. His love for the land and the rural way of life manifested itself in many ways as he blended in so naturally with the changing of the seasons. Springtime saw him head for the bog down in Cuiltybo and he was always one of the first men to start off the turf-cutting season in those bygone days. When you saw Joe cycling by, you knew it was soon time for the rest of us to start thinking about the bog as well.
He was a regular at the local fairs and marts down through the years and took a keen interest all things relating to the farm.
Joe also had a strong interest in history and current affairs and had a fine knowledge of the War Years and Irish history and politics. He was an avid reader and was blessed with a retentive mind. He also had a fondness for sport, and like so many from the county, took an interest in the GAA championships year after year.
His daughter Kathleen and her husband Seamus were always there for Joe over the last two decades and ensured that everything was taken care of for him.
Joe, a man of quiet and unassuming disposition, was a good neighbour and friend. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all his family. May he rest in peace.
Removal took place from his residence to Barnacarroll Church with interment in Knock cemetery following Requiem Mass celebrated by Fr Colm Burke. Padraic delivered a fine eulogy at the end of the Mass.
Joe is survived by his daughters, Kathleen McGrenra (Mace) and Jane O’Regan (Galway); son, Padraic (Dublin); in-laws; grandchildren; sister, Bridget Kenny (Woodstock, Ballindine); nephews and nieces; relatives, neighbours and friends.
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