Thomas John Mulloy passed peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on September 21 following a battle with cancer.
Tom was born in Mulranny in 1946 where he lived all his life and was a proud Mulranny man. He got involved in all aspects of the community and always helped out where he could.
Tom was best known as a musician and entertainer. He and his three younger brothers, Pat, Michael and Martin began playing music at a young age, having been taught by their mother Kate. Their father Pat had passed away when the boys were very young. They began entertaining in pubs in 1965 with the first ‘Mulloy Brothers’ gig being held in Corrigan’s of Mulranny. Their musical career has spanned over fifty years touring and performing all over the world, bringing their unique style of Irish ballads to the masses.
During his time Tom famously sang for John Lennon when he visited Mulranny, and when Tom asked John to sing Mr Lennon said “no thank you, I’ll leave it to the professionals”. Eventually after a few beverages John Lennon did perform at the piano, and sang a song that he had just written for the first time ‘the revolution’.
Tom toured the US a total of 15 times and the UK countless times with the Mulloy Brothers, as well as several other countries besides, and gained much respect and infamy along the way. He was a great ambassador for Mayo.
In 2015 a huge celebration was held in Mulranny Hotel for the Mulloy Brother’s 50 year anniversary.
Included in Tom’s musical talent, he was also a piper with the Mulranny Pipe Band for over 40 years and piped numerous dignitaries over the years including Taoisigh and Presidents.
Tom also worked as a porter in Mulranny Hotel in the 1960s and later as a carpenter having trained in Bolton St Dublin. He also trained with Ireland’s Army Reserve, the FCA during the 1960s.
He was a fisherman and fish monger for many years, an occupation which intertwined with his Fine Gael activism. He was a life-long friend of Enda Kenny and Michael Ring. He often spoke of the story of the loaves and the fishes; when Michael Ring was involved in the bakery industry. He used to say: “Michael Ring would throw me a few loaves and I’d throw him a few fishes”
He also dabbled in the undertaking, business, and was often seen selling fish from the back of his hearse, or arriving as the wedding band pulling banjos and amplifiers out of the back of the hearse to many a brides amazement.
Tom was a very accomplished swimmer in his youth, winning many competitions, including the Dublin colleges 50 meters in 1968 and he continued to enjoy swimming up until his illness.
Tom was an avid football fan who was a founding member of Mulranny United, and was involved in the club he loved dearly right to the end. His name was synonymous with Mulranny United and he was very passionate about the club, attending all of the matches and serving various roles in the club over the years.
Last year he won a place in the Mayo League Hall of Fame for his contributions to the game, an honour he was hugely proud of. Upon receiving his award he ignored the protocol of no speeches on the night and bolted straight to the microphone announcing that he felt like Donald Trump.
He also travelled home and away to Republic of Ireland matches, even being one of the few who travelled to Iran to see Ireland, which featured in an RTÉ documentary. His banner ‘Mulranny Wander on Tour’ was regularly seen on TV and was recognisable to all who knew him. Tom loved to travel the world and the country, gaining him the nickname “Wander” but his heart was always in Mayo.
Over the years Tom and his brothers provided entertainment for countless charity organisations and events and always gave their time and talent freely. No matter who called on them they would always do their best to help out, even on Christmas Day they would entertain residents in retirement homes and hospitals. No organisation or no venue was too big or too small!
Tom was a member of Mulranny Golf Club for many years and was club Captain in 1998. He managed to get in a game of golf most days and was regularly seen driving through Mulranny village on his golf buggy to and from the course.
Over the past few years, Tom was a volunteer worker in the Mulranny Tourism Office, a role he enjoyed and was well-suited to, due to possessing the gift of the gab and a wealth of knowledge of the local area - he was even known to sing songs for some of his customers!
Tom enjoyed life to the full but it wasn’t always plain sailing. In 1991 he was involved in a serious accident that nearly robbed him off his ability to walk, but with dogged determination, over time, he learned to walk again, baffling the doctors treating him.
His life was marked with sadness too. His baby son Alan passed away shortly after his birth in 1981. His beloved niece Aisling passed away in 2001 aged 21 and his niece Corina passed away at just 12 days old. His brother Michael passed away in 2007 following illness aged 57 and his brother Martin died tragically in 2010 aged 59.
Despite this, Tom had a marvellous outlook on life and his positivity was infectious. No matter what life threw at him he was full of optimism and he was fun-loving. Even through his illness he kept a positive attitude and continued to entertain by joining his brother Pat for a few songs at local gigs.
He was a man that could be heard before he was seen and his smile could light up a room when he entered it. He had a remarkable ability to connect with people and leave his mark on them. He spread happiness with his warm personality. He had friends all over the world, he was known far and wide and no matter where he travelled to in the world he would meet someone who knew him.
Above everything else Tom was a family man: husband, father, grandad, brother, uncle and brother-in-law – his family were everything to him. Tom’s wife Geraldine ensured he was looked after in the comfort of his own home during his illness with his family around him. He adored his family and was always proud and supportive of his three children Elizabeth, Enda and Thomas and his five grandsons Cian, Conor, Darragh, Bobby and James and of course best friend to his only remaining brother Pat.
Tom’s funeral in Mulranny on Sunday, September 23 was a huge affair with thousands descending on the small coastal village to pay respects. Musicians and singers came out in force to give him a fitting send off.
Guard of honours were performed on the day by the Mulranny Golf Club, Mulranny United players past and present and the staff of Mulranny Hotel, MclLoughlin’s and Doherty’s.
A lone piper played Tom to his grave and Mulranny Pipe Band played their own tribute.
Tom’s brother Pat sang a tear jerking rendition of ‘the night visiting song’ at his graveside as mourners grieved. As a homage to him, musicians gathered in McLoughlin’s afterwards and played music and sang for the day.
Tom Mulloy was a huge part of Mulranny and Mayo and his unique character touched the lives of so many people.
Mulranny has lost one of its famous and much loved heroes.