Derrynacanna, Ballintubber and Claremorris
The death has taken place at Abbey Breaffy Nursing Home of Frank Moran, at the age of 95.
He was a well known and progressive dairy farmer. News of his death was received with great sadness in his native Ballintubber, where he was held in the highest esteem. Born in Cullentra in 1925, Frank was the second son of Luke and Margaret Moran and was the brother of the late Fr Joe Moran. Sadly two of Frank’s sisters, Delia and Teresa, had died in infancy. Having completed his schooling at Ballintubber National School, Frank joined his father in running the family farm. He was also however, imbued with a great sense of enterprise, and in 1956 embarked in the business as a Land Reclamation Contractor. Frank invested in a modern bulldozer and associated machinery, a novelty in rural Mayo at that time. For the next three decades, Frank became a household name across West Mayo, while sub contracting with the Land Commission and as his reputation grew for competence and reliability, and so did the demand for his land reclamation services. In 1957, Frank married the love of his life, Phil McDermott, of nearby Thomastown, a member of the nursing staff of what was then the Mayo County Hospital, Castlebar. They enjoyed a happy and devoted marriage for just over sixty years until Phil’s passing less than two years ago, during which Frank and Phil raised a family of three daughters, Margaret, Ann and Angela, and their only son Joseph.
But sorrow was to touch their lives with the death of Joseph in 2010, after a short illness. It was a heavy cross, his passing marking the end of their plans for the dairy farm, which father and son had worked on, and built together, in admirable harmony. Frank and Phil bore their loss with exemplary Christian fortitude, but those close to them could sense that a light had gone out with Joseph’s death. Frank was blessed with a wonderful memory and a recall of people and events going back over a lifetime, he remained clear minded to the very end. He was the last of his generation. He was the acknowledged authority on family lore and on the intricacies of the family tree, and was always happy to share his knowledge with those who followed. Frank had a great sense of community, rooted in the spirit of the Meitheal, which was so much part of the locality which nurtured him. A long serving member of Macra na Feirme, he took native pride in his local Ballintubber GAA Club, as well as in the county colours. Frank took a keen interest in local history, and was particularly proud of the restoration of the Tochar Padraic, which passed through his lands. He was a regular contributor to the Killawalla Magazine, an outlet which reflected his other abiding interests - literature, writing, books and poetry. He was an avid reader, equally at home with Hilaire Belloc or the adventures of Curly Wee, as he was with the much loved poems of John O’Brien’s ‘Around the Boree Log’, which he could readily recite at a moment’s notice. Although the Covid-19 restrictions constrained many from attending Frank’s funeral ceremonies, friends and neighbours lined the roadside to pay their respects on his final journey from Killawalla Church to Ballintubber Abbey Cemetery, where he was laid to rest with those who had gone before him.
Frank is survived by his daughters Margaret (Enniscrone), Ann (Boston), and Angela (Ballintubber), sons-in-law Albert, Ray and Shawn, grandchildren Róisín, Ann Marie and Raymond Flaherty and Chris and Colin Campbell and extended family.