Carramore, Liscarney, Westport, Co Mayo
As news of the passing of Walter Halloran passed throughout his home village of Carramore and the wider Westport area on Tuesday, November 10 last, there was genuine shock and sorrow. Walter was a pillar of his community and had lived there most of his life. The love of his wife, children, 10 grandchildren and his five siblings always took precedence. His own home birthplace of Carramore, the place he called home was deepest in his heart. It was here Walter was happiest and it was here he would finally rest.
Walter who was born on March 25, 1942, to Catherine and William Halloran. He started out his life in his home birthplace of Carramore which is just a mere five miles outside Westport, Co Mayo. From here Walter would go on to work hard at home and in London and go onto establish his life with his wife Kathleen with whom he married in Whitecity Chapel, London in 1969. From there they returned home to settle in Carramore and went on to have five children, two boys and three girls; Catherine, Walter (jnr), Jane, Margaret and William. Walter built the family home and family meant everything to him. He often said he believed he had something very special with his own wife and family and his own siblings of one brother Joe (Westport) and five sisters Bridgie Igoe (Ballintubber), Kathleen McHale (Castlebar), Tessie Geraghty (Glenisland), Julia Coyne (Ballintubber) and predeceased by his sister Margaret Neary. He maintained his longing for a “close knit unit” as he called it and the words “when the chips are down you know you have your own” were only recently uttered again in the last few days of his life. Walter and his wife Kathleen had just recently celebrated 51 years of marriage at the end of October 2020.
Walter was a true gentleman, warm and decent and he always made time for everyone he met. He loved to chat and be sociable and tell you a story about what was happening, making chat was something that came easy to Walter. He could tell you the history of someone, something or someplace. Walter enjoyed life and was never in a rush to go, if that meant a few words could be spoken. Always a man who took great pride in the love of his local community and the great neighbours and friends he so often fondly spoke about, some of which had sadly passed. Walter cherished the time he spent down the years while working on his farm when visitors would call. He loved to visit to other people’s homes, farms and places talking livestock, machinery and dogs. These were simple things that gave him great pleasure. Some of these people would go onto perform a guard of honour as his funeral cortege departed his home on the morning of his burial to his local church of the Sacred Heart, Cushlough. These people some of whom were his nearest and dearest neighbours, friends and members of his local Gun Club with their proud hunting dogs in hand as they lined the road. This show of deepest respect and solidarity for Walter really gave his family a great sense of the love others had for him and the great kindness of people in these difficult times, it was a sight they will never forget.
Walter was gifted when it came to working with his hands. He created many unique tools and machinery all from seeing how other machines worked. He took great enjoyment from being able to redesign them himself. Late Summer evenings working away on his tractors and machinery until the last sign of light in his work shed or preparing for the annual event of cutting silage with his two sons, close friends and neighbours gave him great pride and joy, he loved the excitement and comradery the event would bring. Walter loved the smell of the freshly cut grass in the air and watching on as the silage pit grew taller. Getting out and about working on his farm and training sheepdogs gave him great joy and working the soil on his Hitachi machine was one of his greatest pleasures. Walter enjoyed playing the accordion and was a talented player. His trip out on a Sunday with his local Gun Club was also a great passion of Walters, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Walter was a creative thinker and a man with simple wants in his life. Watching TV and a good western or movie was just the icing on the cake! Walter was skilled in many facets of his working life and always believed in giving it your all and taking no shortcuts. Walter was also a lifelong pioneer.
What was as strong as Walters’s physical stature was his bravery, strength and courage. In the past couple of years Walter fought a brave and dignified battle with cancer and although it tried, the illness would not define him. It was with this great strength that kept Walter working, thinking and doing what he loved best. Walter’s physical stature of strength did not fade nor did his determination to keep going. Walter didn’t believe in doing something with a half a heart, he gave it his all until the end which he did in his own true style.
Walter was a truly wonderful husband and father, grandfather, brother, uncle, father-in-law, Godfather and friend and was and is the heart of our family. A truly great listener, and a caring and loyal friend to many. This is reflected in the sincere lovely stories and messages of condolences that we have listened to and read over the past few weeks. We as his family were truly blessed to have him as our father and husband to our mother Kathleen. His great love for us and ours for him was immeasurable and will never be extinguished. You will be missed terribly by all who were lucky to have known you. Heaven has gained someone truly special.