The death has taken place of Thomas (Tommie) Duffy (Westlands, Westport) in Coral Haven Nursing Home, Galway, in his ninety-fourth year. He was predeceased by his wife, Noreen, in 1991.
Tommie was born in Clooneen, Kilmeena in 1924. He was one of seven children. His brothers, John (Clooneen) and Peter (Athlone), predeceased him. He attended Kilmeena NS and the Christian Brothers School, Westport.
His first job was working for his uncle Jackie Nolan, on James Street, Westport in the bar/grocery trade. He then commenced work for D E Williams’ Co Ltd, in the midlands in 1944.
Tommie married Noreen Molloy (of Medlicott Street, Newport) in 1953. They made their home in Tullamore, where he set up his own business in 1960. They had four children Peter, Rita, Mary and Ger. He successfully traded there, until his retirement in 1984.
Sadly, Noreen died in 1991. Tommie decided to return to Westport. He opened a B&B at 3, The Harbour in 1992 and continued to trade until 1999.
Tommie enjoyed his retirement in Westport immensely. He enjoyed the company of his sisters, brothers in law, nieces and nephews and his many acquaintances and friends. His special friend during this time was Maura Geraghty, who sadly passed away in 2011. Indeed, he often referred to this time in Westport as his ‘third life’. He and the late Mickey Berry established the Westport Active Retirement Association. They initiated many activities for senior citizens including dancing, cards, painting classes, bingo and tours to name but a few. He volunteered his spare time to St Vincent de Paul, nursing home visits, and Meals on Wheels.
Tommie was a great raconteur and enlivened many a gathering with his recitations. Indeed, so great was his recollection of his early years that, for his ninetieth birthday, his daughter Mary, published a book of his memoirs titled “My Father Played the Melodeon”. This book recalled growing up in the 1920s and ‘30s in Clooneen, Kilmeena. Tommie retained an abiding love of nature from his early years growing up in Kilmeena. He loved to walk and was a keen gardener.
In September 2013, he became a resident of Coral Haven Nursing Home, due to ill health. He continued to enjoy the company of his family, his sisters and nieces, nephews and friends who were frequent visitors there. On Sunday, July 23, Tommie became seriously ill and with the attentive care of the health care staff at Coral Haven and the Palliative Care Team from the Galway Hospice, he passed away peacefully on Friday, July 28, 2017 surrounded by his family.
Tommie is survived by his son Peter; his daughters Rita, Mary and Ger; daughter-in-law Anne; sons- in- law Kieran, Dennis and David. Grandchildren Fintan, Darragh, Siadbh, Ciara, Caoimhe, Méabh and Sam; great grandchildren Aoife and Cillian. His sisters Eileen Walshe (Knockranny), May Corcoran (Castlebar Street), Lena Beresford (Doncaster) and Christina Reidy (Castlebar Street), and extended family.