Chestnut Grove, Mill Street, Westport
Peter Moran or better known ‘Pebbles’, a loving husband to Paula, doting father to Tiffany and Chloe, caring brother, uncle, brother-in-law, friend and most recently Grandad to baby Aleeah.
Peter grew up at The Quay, with parents Joe Joe and Marie Moran, brothers Joe and Mark and his sister Keveen. Always an active and mischievous child where brotherly rivalry escalated through the years. What started out as innocent theft of toy cars being buried out of jealousy, later became fisty cuffs and eventually ended up with heads unknowingly being used as dart boards. Thankfully this was outgrown as the boys grew older and they supported, cared for and loved eachother unconditionally.
He always looked after his baby sister Keveen. She was only about one year old when Peter was sent upstairs to fetch the baby. He fell from the top step all the way down to the bottom, but never dropped Keveen. This protection lasted throughout life and he would do anything for her.
They say that everyone has a time to die. Peter tested this many times. From the early ages with the Deveraux brothers on the lake at Westport House. He fell out of a dingy and thought he was drowning and so did everybody else. No one was in a rush to save him but eventually they did after they had a good laugh first. Thanks Pat for saving a life at sea!
He was never a fan of school. He managed to show the face when it suited but it usually was in one door and straight back out the other. He would be dropped to the door and make an escape just as quick. By the time he reached secondary school, he had to be paid to attend. This didn’t make a difference, he still decided school wasn’t for him. He began working from a young age, down The Quay at the fisheries. This was something he loved and he later went on to drive lorries for many different haulage companies. He loved to be behind the wheel even up until his last day.
He was always one for a practical joke and a bit of mischief, against often unsuspecting victims.
From the earliest of ages when he was small enough to crawl under the school, to turn off the heating during the frost. He made sure to be the first in the door that morning, as he knew they’d all end up being sent home. It took two or three days before they could figure out what happened to the heating system and school could recommence.
As he got a little bit older, he’d spend the time he should have spent in school, next door in number eight with Pat and Patsy Cunningham. Patsy and himself would sit at the kitchen table smoking and chatting for hours until school finished, and he’d arrive back home where Marie would do her best to hide the evidence from Joe Joe. These daily kitchen meetings with Patsy would eventually lead to Peter’s first and only true love with Paula Cunningham. Some men travel the world to meet the one they love, he only had to hop the wall.
The Dad we knew though was a simple man and he didn’t like a fuss. He enjoyed watching the golf on the telly, a mug of tea with fox’s golden cream biscuits with a side of rich tea for the dog, and a good pint of the black stuff. While his local may have changed over the years his loyalty to his chosen watering hole never faded. I have to mention in particular Shane Morans, O Grady’s and The Jester. We as a family have many happy memories that were made in these establishments and have made great friends that have been a massive support to us throughout the years.
Socialising with Dad was always an experience. While we would try to keep pace with him, there was no matching his efficiency. His ability to demolish a pint of Guinness in an average of four mouthfuls was a talent in itself. When there was no room for any more Guinness, a good double vodka and diet coke was always a good shout. And if he was in a particularly good mood he would be partial to a Malibu and pineapple, although this was hard to come across. Usually if you met him for a drink, you’d end up having to make a quick trip to the bathroom to empty the stomach, to make sure you’d make it as far as the nightclub. We’d usually always end up with more money coming home than we did heading out.
A lot of the stories I could tell about Dad usually involve one pub or another, but there was so much more to him that our family saw behind all of this. He was exceptionally generous with his time to all his family members from golf lessons, driving lessons, DIY projects including most recently a woodwork lesson during the Covid-19 pandemic. Poor Josh failed miserably.
He did all this without hesitation and complaint.
For all his giving out about it, Dad loved his work. He could never settle at home without something to do. In particular he loved driving - be it trucks, buses or even bikes. He’s had many great employers who quickly became more like friends than bosses. We can’t thank all of you enough for your support through the years and in the past few weeks in particular. He especially loved getting back behind the wheel over the past couple of years with Conor Dever and James Barrett.
I couldn’t write this without giving a mention to one of his favourite pastimes, Golfing. Every Sunday was spent below in Carrowholly with the usual suspects. Ye know who you are. I’m still quite unsure whether golfing was just an excuse for a Sunday session. I remember him telling me about a recent trip to Ballyconeely. They were put up by a good friend in his hotel. I wasn’t told an awful lot about the golfing, but I do know that the bar was drank dry. To be quite honest you never got told a lot about golf. You’d ask how the day went and you’d be told the same response. I can’t quite say the word but It began with an S and ended with a T.
Most importantly, Dad lived for his family. He often went above and beyond in caring for his parents when they needed it most. There was no one more devoted to us than him. He lived for Mum, Tiffany and myself. He stuck by my mum through all the difficult times, and unfortunately for our family we’ve had many. Over the course of their marriage they were tested on numerous occasions from family illnesses, and the other hardships life brought them.
I’ll never be able to put into words the love story between Mum and Dad. Dad fought for her for years and years and she made sure he worked hard for it. There were times they’d fall out and go their separate ways only for one to get jealous of the other very quickly.
They had 30 loving, memorable years together before Mum’s passing last October, and when we lost her, Dad lost his best friend, his soulmate. The last 10 months without her was definitely the longest 10 months of his life. He always put on a brave face for me and Tiffany, but we knew he was completely heart broken. It gives us great comfort to know that they have now been reunited together.
The irony of grief is that the person that you want to talk to about how you feel is the person who is no longer here. A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone. It goes without saying that we are most definitely lost. I now know why he always told us to be strong. He knew that one day we would need the strength to bear his loss. He was the most amazing father, husband, grandfather, friend, brother and uncle. He has left us with memories that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. I wish we had more time. I don’t quite know how we’ll cope or carry on in this lifetime without you and mum there with us, but I promise we’ll do our best to continue to make you both proud of us.