IT was with sadness and regret that the people of the region heard of the recent sudden death of Ollie Conway while on a short vacation with family members in England.
Ollie (73) was a firm favourite around Claremorris and was noted for his kindness and amicable manner. He cherished his friends in a special way and was very loyal to them through the years.
One of Ollie’s favourite hobbies was bingo and he was a regular at the weekly games in Claremorris, Roundfort, Hollymount, Brickens and Kilconly. It was no surprise to see a Roundfort bingo book place in his coffin during the reposing ceremony in Gilligan’s.
He journeyed to those sessions along with many of the regular bingo clientele including Mary Gill, Helena and Michael Walsh, Dympna Larkin and Mary Reilly and many were the laughs and stories along the way.
The regular Sunday night 25 card game in the home of Helena and Michael Walsh in Luí na Gréinne was another cherished occasion in Ollie’s weekly calendar.
Friendships meant so much to Ollie and among those special friends were Ethan and Christina Jordan, Mary Hegarty, and the Molloy family of Gortnara. When Mary Hegarty left The Lawn to go and reside in Castle Ross near Carrickmacross, Ollie ensured she was kept up to date with news from home through his twice weekly phone calls to her.
The late John Molloy was another close friend and they enjoyed many long and humourous chats in former times.
Ollie took great pleasure in composing rhyming verses, some of which were published in the local newspapers. He penned many a suitable verse for those in the nursing and caring profession around Claremorris and also for those celebrating special occasions.
He was a man of strong and abiding faith and was a regular attendee at weekend Masses in Claremorris and Barnacarroll and other church ceremonies over the years.
His nephew Michael delivered a lovely eulogy at the end of the Funeral Mass, recalling trips home from England to Claremorris in summers gone by, playing pool in Merrick’s Pub, and an assortment of other pleasant reminiscences from back the years. His niece Georgina also compiled a book of photos celebrating the life and times of Ollie.
Reposing was at Gilligan’s Funeral Home with removal to St Colman’s Church, Claremorris. Burial took place in Tulrahan cemetery following the Funeral Mass celebrated by Fr Peter Gannon, PP, who also paid a eloquent tribute to Ollie and his contribution to the community life of the region.
Ollie, who was predeceased by his parents Maggie (nee McNabb) and Martin and by his sisters Noreen and Kathleen and brother Michael, will be very sadly missed by his brothers Martin, Peter, Seán and Denis, sister Mary, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends.