The death has taken place of Vincent O’Malley at his home in Kilbree surrounded by his wife Mary (née Mulchrone) and family, sons Martin, Derrycoosh; Pat, Kilbree; Joe, Westport, and daughters Mary, Kilbree; Ann, Dooleague; Agnes, Louisburgh and Kay, Crossmolina.
Vincent was son of the late Agnes (née Murphy) and Charles O’Malley. His only brother Martin sadly passed away at nine years of age when Vincent was only three years old. He was also predeceased by his three sisters Veronica Barnett, UK; Mary Daniels, UK and Christina (Chris) Gibbons, Rockfield and Pinewoods, Westport.
Vincent attended Knockrooskey National School before moving to Cloggernagh Natonal School where he completed his education. Vincent was very generous with his time over the years for the better of the community, clubs, schools and organisations. He helped Islandeady GAA assisting on the gates for matches; Macra Na Feirme, for the better of young farmers where he was secretary for some time; Islandeady Dramatic Society where he participated in many plays, acting, singing and playing the Accordion in local dance halls, mainly during Lent period in those days. He was also Treasurer of the Islandeady Races Committee when they were popular in the parish. He also was Chairperson and an active member of the Islandeady Community Council. He was involved in the Islandeady Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA). With his interest in farming he obtained the opportunity to avail of farmer training in Athenry Agriculture College. With farm income small like farm size and poor land quality in the west of Ireland, Vincent as a young man spent a short time in Stockport, England, working to supplement his income.
He devoted time to what was called the Co-op, where he held position of Chairman for some time. This was an Agricultural supply store located on Castlebar Street, Westport, now the location of the Castlecourt Hotel. Following that he was also part of the organising committee involved with the setting up of the NCF Mart on the Lodge Road in Westport.
Shooting was his hobby and he was part of the original group to set up a Gun Club in the Islandeady parish, which still exists. He participated in game rearing programmes, rearing pheasants at home to be set free into the countryside when reared. November 1 was an important date in his calendar, this was the first day of Game shooting season and he seldom missed being out very early with the gun and dogs on that morning.
Farming was his first love until he met Mary Mulchrone from Aughagowla, Fahy, Newport and they married in 1959. They worked hard, reared their family and always had time to socialise in the local pubs and dance halls, winning many trophies for their dance moves, long before ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ or ‘Dancing with the Stars’ was ever heard of.
After that, farming became his second love. When talking about farming and life in general, he often remarked if you have good neighbours, a good dog and a good woman, it makes life a lot easier, he was confident, he had all three.
Speaking of good neighbours, he was fortunate to win a ‘Neighbour of the Year Award’ in 1988 in association with one of bis Bibles through life, The Farmers Journal. He would also remark when it came to family, if they deserved praise, it should come from someone else. Sadly he didn’t hold that opinion when it came to criticism or correction.
Vincent was steeped in farming all his life, initially in a time when fields were tilled with horses. He liked horses, knew how to handle and work them well on the land. He had a particular interest in the Irish Draught breed of which he was chairman of Mayo Registered Irish Draught (RID) and also of the Connemara pony, both of which he bred over his lifetime. He was an active committee member of the Westport Horse Show and Fair Society of which he is the current President,
He was a man of great judgement and observation especially when it came to horses, cattle, Land and property. As a part time Auctioneer in life he maintained this quality right to the end. He worked hard, was successful in what he did, all with the support of Mary right to the end.
On a final note, he was a very religious man and the family Rosary was as popular in the house at night as ‘Mart and Market’ with Michael Dillon on the radio. The big difference was, the Rosary when he said it, was much longer with a selection of additional prayers added for good measure. A trip to Knock was sincere, religious, rewarding and enjoyable. However, a climb of Croagh Patrick was an unforgettable experience, for the amount of prayers said and the distance of the mountain travelled, lots of it done in circles around stones on the way up and down. We hope the Lord will reward him for the man he was in life, he will be sadly missed by Mary his wife, his family, friends, neighbours and all who knew him. May he rest in peace.