MARTIN Goggins, Ballindine Road, and formerly of Cartownacross and Drimneen, Claremorris, died recently in Swinford District Hospital. He was 85 and had been coping with an illness in recent months. He was predeceased by his wife Bernie, nee McGowan from Renbrack, Callow, Foxford, in 1999.
Martin was widely known in the taxi business in Claremorris at which he worked for almost 25 years. He made many friends during that time and established a loyal clientele for the family business.
Prior to that, he worked in a number of business outlets in Claremorris town as well as in Kiltimagh, Foxford, and in London in his young years.
In the 1970s, he spent some contented year working in JJ Smyth’s VG Supermarket in D’Alton Street and later in the Green Stores in Claremorris operated by Tommy and Kathleen Higgins and family. He also opened his own paint shop in Mount Street which he ran for a time.
Martin, along with his sons PJ and Martin Jnr, opened a butcher and grocery shop beside Kiltimagh Church in the late 1980s and spent some very happy years among the people of Kiltimagh and its hinterland.
Martin had a vast knowledge of the people of the Claremorris hinterland and this served him well when he went into the taxi business in 1994 which is now being run by his son Martin and grandson Paul.
He developed a loyal customer base in the Claremorris town and neighbourhood and also among those travelling by train to Claremorris Railway Station, especially people who were heading for Knock Shrine.
He had a great fondness for Knock and shared a special rapport with so many of the pilgrims who had journeyed down from Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Westmeath and other places. They always sought him out on arrival at the station to take them to and from Knock Shrine.
In this football mad county, he took an interest in Mayo football and he followed Chelsea across the Irish Sea, a throwback to his time in London.
He had an abiding fondness for current affairs and politics and was always willing and able to defend his corner and his strongly held views. He cherished time spent reading the local and national newspapers and had a great appreciation of the role of newspapers in society and communities. Mid West Radio was another constant in his life over the last three decades and he was also supportive of Claremorris Community Radio in the town.
The very large attendance at the reposing in Gilligan’s Funeral Home was a reflection of the special regard in which he was held by so many people in the region and much further afield.
His nephew, Fr Tommy Commins, was the chief celebrant at the Funeral Mass in Claremorris Church and the concelebrants were Fr Peter Gannon, Fr Billy Reilly and Fr John Fallon. Interment took place in St Colman’s Cemetery.
The Funeral Choir and soloist Richard Carney performed beautifully during the Funeral Mass. His nieces Noeleen and Joanne and nephew Shay travelled over from England while his late wife Bernie’s sister, Ita Edwards, was down from Dublin.
In his homily, Fr Tommy told the congregation that Martin was born on July 14, 1933, one of a family of eleven to Frances (nee Brennan) and Jim Goggins in Cartownacross, Claremorris. He attended Loughanamon NS when it was a case of to school through the fields.
Martin started working in a local shop in town at the age of 15 and went to England at 17 where he served as a shop assistant in the Cricklewood area of London and also spent a short time in the pub business. He always dressed immaculately with jacket, shirt and tie, and this was a trait he retained all through his life.
“He met Bernie McGowan from Renbrack, Foxford, at a dance in Cricklewood and romance blossomed from there. Bernie was nursing in London at the time. They married in Highgate Church, London, on October 17, 1959, and returned to Ireland a year later, first to Foxford and later to Drimneen, Claremorris, where they lived for many years.
“They raised a family of four, Seamus, PJ, Martin and Marion. In 1995, they moved from Drimneen to Ballindine Road as Bernie was working in Castlemacgarrett Nursing Home at the time. Her death, following an illness in March 1999, was a huge blow to Martin and the family as Bernie was central to all they did. All in the family circle had a special place in their hearts for Bernie.
“The support of family and a strong faith helped Martin though this difficult time along with his taxi work and sharing time with so many people.
“He had his own sense of humour and retained it to the end. He had a great rapport will all age groups and this was helped through his dealing with people of all ages in the taxi line of duty.
“He fought his final illness over the last few weeks with courage and bravery until, as the prayer says, the busy world was hushed, and the fever of life was over, and his work was done. He retained that independent streak right to the end,” said Fr Tommy.
Martin, who was predeceased by his sister Anne and his brothers Pat, Jim and John, is deeply regretted by his daughter Marion (Hughes), sons Seamus, PJ and Martin, in-laws, grandchildren, brothers Mike and Larry, sisters Patricia (Commins), Teresa (Butler), Mary (Davin) and Delia (Joyce), nephews, nieces, the family circle, neighbours and friends.