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Johnny McHugh

Meelish, Hollymount
JOHNNY McHugh, Meelish, Hollymount, who died recently, was a greatly respected member of the local farming community. He was one of the most senior citizens in the region and was aged 93. He was also the last surviving member of his generation of the McHugh family, having been predeceased by his brothers Paddy and Michael who both lived in England and by his sisters Nora in Roundfort, Mary in England, and Nellie in America.
In declining health for some time, he had resided with his son Gerry and wife Mary and family for the past two and a half years.
Johnny married Ellie Hennelly from Lehinch, Hollymount, and they raised a family of two sons, Martin and Gerry, and a daughter, Mary. They were people of the land who had a rich appreciation of nature and all its glorious wonders.
Like so many of their generation, the seasons rather that the clock dictated the work routine. Sowing the crops in Spring was followed by the cutting of the turf with the mowing and saving of the hay in July and into August, followed by the harvesting of the oats and barley, and later the digging of the potatoes. All things had a place with the feeding and minding of the livestock blending in with the daily chores.
In the days of yore, Johnny loved to ramble along to the local fairs and was a regular at the marts in Ballinrobe and Claremorris after the day of the fair had more or less passed into history.
He worked for a time in Fair’s of Roundfort which, back then, was a very busy distribution centre for bag stuff and a lot of things relating to the land and the farming scene. Many of the bags were very heavy and it took strong men like Johnny to lift them and shift them where needed.
A man of deep faith, Johnny always attended Sunday Mass in Roundfort and he looked forward to his regular meetings after Mass with his friends from the farming community and sharing opinions on the happenings of the week over a pint or two in the local pub. It was all part of the social cohesion of the rural community and served a huge role in cultivating and cementing friendships.
Born into a generation that valued the ‘meitheal’ spirit, many were the times that Johnny assisted neighbours with various farming tasks down through the years. This he did freely and with a heart and a half, always glad to have the health and strength to do so.
He was a good-natured and pleasant gentleman who got on well with everyone. He will be sadly missed by his family and good friends.
Removal took place from Roundfort Community Centre to the local church with interment in Roundfort Cemetery following Requiem Mass celebrated by Fr Michael Molloy, PP.
Johnny, who was predeceased by his wife Ellie in 1995, is survived by his sons Martin (Castlebar) and Gerry (Meelish), daughter Mary (Sculibeen, Crossmolina), daughters-in-law Maureen and Mary, son-in-law John Jordan, nine grandchildren, relatives, neighbours and friends. - MC.