Roscahill West, Kilmeena
Jim was born on May 1, 1937, the second eldest of 5 children to the late Patrick and Agnes Moran of Roscahill West, Kilmeena. He had a happy but very busy childhood spent in company of his late brother Joe, sisters Mary, Teresa and Greta. There was always a job to be done, from saving hay, working on the farm, helping out in the shop and with their shellfish business. Swimming just below the house at the pier was their downtime (many a ducking his poor sisters got!!)
The Moran’s had a shop in their house. It was a focal part of the community for many years. All the local people bought their provisions there. It was a great meeting point for so many in particular the Islanders, who came over early every Sunday morning (tide dependent) left their list in the shop before making their way to mass. On their return, all messages were stocked up on their boats ready for the off. However, before they took to the sea again, a cup of tea and the chat was the order of the day up in the Moran household.
On weekdays Jim would often drive many of the islanders in and out of town in his Red Ford pick up truck. Although as time went on he purchased a Bentley and proudly chauffeured his 3 sisters to the various dances around Westport and beyond. He was always available with his quick wit and sense of humour, always to the ready!! Jim left school at an early age and took up an apprenticeship with the Textile factory on the New Road in Westport. However business was in his genes and before long he joined his father in Roscahill Shellfish.
Initially they exported to Billing’s Gate in London but overtime expanded and exported to France, Holland and Spain. Jim often set out (in the 1970’s) from Roscahill with 20 tonne of winkles for Northern France and beyond. Jim was not bi-lingual but he knew how to barter. He proved time and time again that he could close a deal with his natural business acumen and of course his charming manner.
Jim was a very personable man. He was honest, kind, direct but above all a ‘grafter’. He had a terrific work ethic. When Pat, his eldest son joined him in the business it really flourished. They worked alongside each other for many years before Pat eventually took over, ensuring that the same standards that Jim had worked to all his life were and still are adhered to.
Of course anyone who knew Jim was aware of his great passion for Mayo football. He often regaled us with stories of the Mayo team winning back in 1951 and how at the age of 14 he made his way back to Castlebar to meet the team. Every year he fervently hoped that ‘Sam’ would make the long journey back to his beloved Mayo again, alas this was not to be.
Jim met the love of his life Mary (nee Higgin’s , Kiltimagh) at his parents house when she came on a visit with his sister Teresa with whom she was working with at the time in Shanleys store in Westport. They were married for over 55 years and quite simply they just adored each other. When Mary got sick just over 2 years ago, Jim devoted his life to ensuring that she received the best of care and attention at all times. Above all Jim lived for his family. It was the arrival of his 6 grandchildren that brought him the greatest joy of all. He was so proud of all their achievements and was always imparting sound advice and wisdom to them whilst managing to have the banter and the craic with them right up until the very end.
Jim will be sadly missed by his wife Mary, Sons-Patrick, Seamus and John, Daughter-in laws- Helen, Carmel and Marie, Grandchildren, Sisters, extended family and friends.
Ar dheas de go raibh a anam dilis.