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‘Mick O’Malley never forgot where he came from’


Tributes paid after death of popular Castlebar businessman

Edwin McGreal

The late Michael (Mick) O’Malley (pictured) has been remembered as a man who was ‘extremely generous with his time and money’.
The popular road contractor died last Wednesday peacefully at his home in Ballynew, Castlebar.
One of his good friends, Senator Paddy Burke, recalled a hugely successful self-made businessman ‘who never forgot where he came from’.
“He was a very generous man with his time and with his money. He supported so many projects and clubs in the area and he discretely helped out an awful lot of people who were in trouble financially and most people would not know about it,” Senator Burke told The Mayo News.
His road and tarmacadam business was known throughout Mayo and far beyond for the quality of its work and Mick was held in very high esteem, particularly in Castlebar.
“He was a gas man. He was great company. He had a great ability to mix with young and old. We used to go to Spain on golfing trips and Mick really enjoyed it. Pat Doherty, Padraig Hurst and Mick were all on those trips and all three are gone now.
“He had a song he used to love singing, ‘The Yellow JCB’. He was very hardworking too, and took huge pride in the quality of his work. I remember one of the first big jobs he did was down in Moneypoint in Clare,” added Senator Burke.
A native of Carrajames, Belcarra, Mick set up his business in 1978 after previously working with Mayo County Council.
Michael O’Malley Tarmacadam Contractors worked on roads throughout the western region, as well as driveways for thousands of homes.
Paddy Burke recalls seeing him play football in the 1960s, recalling that Mick played for Ballintubber and then for rivals Balla.
“I remember watching him play in the turlough in Ballyglass in a seven-a-side game and I’d often tell in company about Mick being full-back and scoring with a kick-out. I’d tell it in company and Mick would love it and often embellish it. Now I’m not sure if it ever happened but that didn’t matter!

Great Mayo supporter
“He was a great Mayo supporter down through the years, from his football background and was a well-known Fine Gael supporter too.”
He was an active member of Castiebar Golf Club, where he served as Men’s Captain in 2002 and Club President in 2017.
“He was with us when we won the Jimmy Bruen, the club’s first All-Ireland in 110 years. I was on the team and Mick was a great support, encouraging us and at all the games up to and including the final.
“He took up golf late enough in life but really enjoyed it and loved going on golfing trips around the country and beyond.”
Predeceased by his parents John Joe and Bridie, his aunt Mary, his brother Paddy O’Malley (London) and sister-in-law Pauline, Mick is deeply mourned by his loving wife of 55 years, Nora O’Malley (Grimes) and daughters, Hilda Dunne (Castlebar) Sharon Tolan (Castlebar), Michelle O’Malley (Lynch), (Ballyvary), Sinead Mc Tigue (Castlebar), Laura Liverpool (Castlebar) and his brother Joe O’Malley (Castlebar); grandchildren Caoimhe, Jorden, Brandon, Ryan, Erin, Taylor, Laura, Casey, Chloe, Bradie, Rebecca, Jake and Sophia; sons-in-law, Dara Dunne, Maurice Tolan, Michael Lynch, Kieran McTigue and Cliff Liverpool, nephews, nieces, neighbours, relatives and friends.
His funeral Mass took place on Friday last in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Castlebar followed by burial in the New Cemetery, Castlebar.