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Peter O’Malley


Belclare, Westport, Co Mayo

Pete was born in May 1934 in Thallabawn, Louisburgh, the second youngest of nine children. His parents, Maria (née O’Toole) and Thomas O’Malley, were both originally from Inishturk.
His earlier years were spent attending the local school and then working on the family farm. He always had fond memories of the time with his family and neighbours in Thallabawn. From running up Mweelrea looking after sheep to the great nights out at the dances, no matter how many miles they had to travel to get there.
In the 1950s, Pete headed for England, first to take up farming work before moving into construction. He worked in various places around England, in Birmingham he met up with cousins from Inishturk, who would later become great neighbours in Belclare when they returned to Mayo in the 1970s. In London he met up with his lifelong friend from home, John Fergus, who he would eventually follow to Chicago in 1959. John’s Uncle went through the process of claiming Pete which allowed him to travel to America for work.
As well as having full-time construction jobs in Chicago, Pete and John worked as bouncers in the Blarney Club on 79th Street. It was there in 1962 that Pete met a young woman called Eileen Kenny from Co Kerry and the rest is history. Pete and Eileen married in November 1964 and one year to the day later they had their first child, Tom, followed over the next few years by Bernie, Peter and Erin. In the late 70’s they decided to return to Ireland to rear their young family and they built a new home in Belclare with a lovely view of the reek.
As the years went by emigration hit the O’Malley home, as it did many a house during the 80s, bringing some difficult times. However, by the mid-nineties the home was alive again with family returned home from abroad. It would grow over the following years with the addition of new family members including grandsons Stephen and James.
In his later years, Pete enjoyed working outdoors in the garden, which he kept to a very high standard. He followed Mayo GAA with great passion and, like so many, always hoped he’d see another All-Ireland win. He also loved a day out fishing with his brother Tom, nephew Thomas, or with his neighbours. His greatest pastime though was cards, when his health still allowed it, he could be out several nights a week at different games of 25, particularly in Murrisk and Cushlough, where he enjoyed the great company of his many friends and a homemade scone or two.
In 2015, Eileen sadly passed away after a period of ill health, it was less than a year after they had celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary. Pete cared for Eileen with great devotion and kindness during this difficult time. He was heartbroken at her passing, but he was a great believer in getting on with things and doing the best you could. He continued to be a man of great warmth who enjoyed the craic and spending time with family and friends right up to the end of his own life.
Pete passed away on March 16, 2022 after a short illness. He is predeceased by his wife Eileen, parents Maria and Thomas, brothers Mike and Tom, sisters Mary, Ellie, Kathleen and Bridget. He is sadly missed by his loving sons Tom and Peter, daughters Bernie and Erin, son-in-law Tommy Roache (Bohea), grandchildren Stephen and James Roache, daughter-in-law Ursula O’Malley (Killyclogher), daughter-in-law Bridget Hogg (Dublin), brother Joe and sister-in-law Jill O’Malley (Gloucester), sister-in-law Nora O’Malley (Kilsallagh), sister-in-law Madge Garvey (Dingle) and all his nephews, nieces and relatives. May he rest in peace.