Details from Michael Dawson with thanks:
LATE TOM WHELAN
The death took place peacefully at his home on Thursday 17 September of Tom Whelan, Connaberry, Ballon. Aged 83., he was the eldest son of Paddy and Nell Whelan ‘The Slip Inn’, Ballykealey. He attended Ballon NS and Carlow VS before taking up his first job as a mechanic with Glynn Brothers.
When he was seventeen, he left the job as a mechanic and bought a van for £10. A new Dairy company had started up at the time and they were looking for agents, so Tom applied and was appointed as the Agent for Bagenalstown and other parts of the South East including Goresbridge, Borris and Leighlinbridge. One to always make the most of an opportunity, Tom then went to Dublin to seek out an agency for selling ice-cream to shops. Here, he acquired a sub-agency and purchased another van while employing a young man to perform the milk round while he was engaged in the ice-cream business.
Tom continued on with his dual businesses for a number of years until another business venture came along. By chance and under unusual circumstances he encountered and befriended the chief buyer in Clery’s Department Store in Dublin
with whom he struck a deal to purchase the left-over goods from the Dublin store each month. Before long we had set up a store in Bunclody and was selling shoes and a few other items of clothing.
So, by 1956, at the age of just 19 years old, with the milk round, the ice- cream round and the shop, Tom had become quite the local businessman. He had a number of employees and ended up running the shop with the help of a 17-year old local girl, Marguerite (Gretta) Nolan. Their relationship blossomed and on October 14, 1958, the couple married in Tullow.
Tom’s career path took a complete change a few years later when he applied for and passed the entrance examination to An Garda Siochana only for his hopes to be dashed when he was informed later that married men weren’t allowed to be enrolled into the force.
In 1963 Tom, Gretta and their young family moved to England and joined the British Police. His first posting was to Thorn, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire and became Constable there. He studied for a degree with the Open University to become a solicitor and following this he was offered the position of Sergeant. He was a respected figure in his position and was commended three times for clearing up crime in the area.
He continued his studies and later obtained a degree in criminology from a college in Sheffield and by this time his family had grown to seven children.
He continued to work as an active Sergeant until 1978, when the family all returned to Ireland to reside in Connaberry, Ballon, but Tom continued to work with the British Police in Northern Ireland until 1995 when he retired at the age of 58.
Upon retirement Tom had many interests the most notable being luxury vintage cars and before long he was chauffeuring people to and from their special occasions.
His remains reposed at Kearney’s Funeral Home before being removed to the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Ballon on Saturday 19 September for Requiem Mass and burial took place in Ballon cemetery afterwards.
Tom is survived by his daughters Kaye O’Brien (Ardristan), Eilis Costello (Rathcrogue), Rita Barry, (Bristol), sons PJ (Kent), John (Connaberry), Thomas (Connaberry and Andrew (Jersey), brother PC (Ballykealey); sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends. Tom was predeceased by his wife Gretta in 1984, sister Katsy McCall and son-in-law Jerome Barry.
LATE MRS PEGGY MORRIS
Mrs Margaret (Peggy) Morris, Ballon and Heatherfield Court, Carlow passed away peacefully on Monday 17 August in the loving care of the Management and Staff of Borris Lodge Nursing Home. She was aged 93.
She was formerly Peggy Nealon from Kildimo, County Limerick and married Jim Morris of Carlow 1944 football fame in 1952 having met at UCD. The couple moved into the School House in Ballon where Jim was principal of the boy’s national school and they had seven children Anne, Eamonn, Kieran, Bernadette, Deirdre, Fidelma and Paul. Peggy stayed at home to rear her family and only returned to teaching in 1968. She taught for a short while in FCJ Bunclody before being employed by Co. Carlow V.E.C. firstly in Borris V.S. and for many years in Tullow V.S and Community school.
She was a founder member of Ballon ICA Guild in 1976 and the Guild went on to win the AIB/ICA Guild of the year award in 1986/87. One of their memorable achievements was the production of Synge’s play ‘Riders to the Sea’. She was involved with ICA both at Federation and National level and continued her membership with Askea ICA after her move to Carlow in 1992.
Among her many interests were painting, reading, poetry and golf. She loved singing and was a member of several choirs over the years. She also loved to play scrabble and to do crosswords.
For the past three years, Peggy was a resident of Borris Lodge Nursing Home where she enjoyed joining in the many activities there. Peggy received great care and attention from all in Borris Lodge throughout her time there.
Her remains reposed at Kearney’s Funeral Home, Fenagh before being removed to the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Ballon for Requiem Mass on Wednesday 19 August. Burial took place immediately afterwards in Ballon Cemetery with Rev Jim O’Connell Adm officiating. Because of the restrictions on large gatherings by the government to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus only close family and friends were in attendance.
Peggy is survived by her sons Eamon (Canada), Kieran (Carlow) and Paul (Abbeyfeale), daughters Anne Hughes (Carlow), Bernadette Revesz (Chicago), Deirdre Nolan (Ballon) and Fidelma Morris (Carlow) and by her sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brother Stephen, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. She was predeceased by her husband Jim in 1982.
CHARLIE WALSH RIP
The Bunclody and Ballon areas lost a true gentleman with the recent passing of Charlie Walsh of 7, Oliver Plunkett Park, Carrigduff, Wexford and formerly Ardristan, Kilbride. Charlie passed away in Waterford Regional Hospital on 30 July where he had spent the previous weeks battling cancer.
Charlie was the 4th of 9 children born to Michael and Margaret Walsh of Ardristan Kilbride, where the highlight of the week was a Saturday night by the fire listening to his father play the accordion. Neighbours would often join them to sing and dance into the early hours.
Charlie attended Ballon Primary school and Tullow Vocational School and then went onto serve two years in the Air Corps as a trainee mechanic, following in the footsteps of his older brother, John. He played football and was on the Kilbride side that won the 1968 Intermediate championship, scoring a goal against a strong Rathvilly side. He was described as a “Hard to handle, nippy half forward!”
After serving his time in the Air Corps, Charlie moved closer to home finding a position as mechanic in Colliers of Bunclody where he won an All Ireland Apprentice of the Year Award in 1971. During his time in Colliers he met Mary whom he married in 1972 and they went on to have three children, Michael, Caroline and Brendan. As kids they recall their Dad having them clean and polish various engine parts on the kitchen table.
Charlie was renowned for his mechanical abilities and whether it be car, tractor, motorbike, lawnmower, if it had an engine Charlie could fix it. He set up shop working from home, where he continued to work up until a few months ago.
Charlie enjoyed the simple things in life, a pint, a half one, a cigarette, some rebel music and a good game of hurling or football at the weekend. He really enjoyed the craic and banter in the pub with his friends and was known for his little sayings such as “Life is strange, old friend” and “Of those things we shall not speak”
Charlie bore his illness with much positivity. He was a religious man and had great faith in Padre Pio. While in Waterford Hospital he spoke very highly of the nurses and doctors who cared for him there, for which his family are truly grateful. Also, the many friends and family members who kept his spirits up in the last few weeks with regular phone calls.
Charlie reposed at Lennon’s Funeral Home Bunclody, his journey from there to Saints Peter and Paul Church Ballon saw the streets of Bunclody lined with friends and acquaintances paying their respects as the funeral cortege passed by. Charlie was later interred at Ballon cemetery.
Charlie is survived by his wife Mary, sons Michael and Brendan and daughter Caroline, brothers Michael and Noel, sisters Peg and Kathleen and by his extended family, the local community and many close friends. In addition to his parents Charlie was predeceased by his brother John and sisters Ursula, Bridie and Lilly.
DEATH OF REV EDWARD WHELAN PE
Rev Edward Whelan, much loved former parish priest of Ballon/Rathoe died on Wednesday 24 June at SignaCare Nursing Home, Bunclody. Aged 87, he was Parish Priest in Ballon/Rathoe for 21 years (1987 – 2008).
Edward Whelan was born in 1933 and was the eldest of eight children, six boys and two girls, born to Patrick and Mary Whelan (nee Doyle), and spent the first ten years of his life on the family farm at The Moat, Hacketstown. In 1944 the family moved to a farm at Holdenstown, Baltinglass.
He attended Hacketstown NS from 1939 to 1944 but transferred to Baltinglass Boy’s NS when the family moved to Holdenstown. The Whelan’s had a family connection with the Redemptorist Order and before he finished sixth class Edward was sent to the Redemptorist College, a secondary boarding school, in Limerick. Edward spent four years there and sat his intermediate certificate in 1949. The following year Edward came to the decision that his vocation was not with the Redemptorists and during the summer holidays prior to his leaving certificate he spoke to Bishop Thomas Keogh regarding a vocation to the Diocesan priesthood and also to Fr Maher, the then Rector of Knockbeg College. Subsequent to those conversations he spent his Leaving certificate year, 1950/51, in Knockbeg College. Having sat his final exams in Knockbeg Edward embarked on his studies for the priesthood in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Apart from adapting to the training for the priestly life, Edward’s first three years in Maynooth were spent doing a Bachelor of Arts degree. For 1st Arts he studied English, Philosophy, Greek and Latin and for his BA, two years later, he took Greek and Latin. He then studied for a degree in Theology and so in June 1958 Fr Whelan was ordained in the College chapel in Maynooth along with 60 other young men.
After ordination Fr Whelan was ready to start work in Kildare and Leighlin. However, in 1958 the diocese was full – there were no vacancies anywhere. Fr Whelan’s first appointment was to the Diocese of Liverpool in the parish of St Alphonsus where he spent a year working in a big working-class parish.
He was recalled to Kildare and Leighlin after a year and was appointed curate in Rathvilly. He was closely involved with the GAA club and became chairman in the 1960s. Rathvilly won the Carlow JFC in 1967 while he was posted there and Rathvilly was getting ‘special mention’ in the Tidy Towns competition. He was still there when Rathvilly won the Tidy Towns national titles in 1963 and 1968.
In 1968 Fr Whelan volunteered to go to the missions. Having spoken to Bishop Patrick Lennon he began to study Portuguese in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan and in September that year went to work in Sao Paulo in Brazil with the Kiltegan missionaries. After a short period, his health began to suffer because of the climate so he went to work in Denver, Colorado, again with the Kiltegan priests.
Having been away for one year he returned to Ireland in 1969 and was appointed to Daingean in County Offaly. In 1982 he was appointed to Nurney in the parish of Monasterevin. After five years there, on the 1st March 1987 he came to Ballon/Rathoe as Parish Priest to replace the retiring Fr John Flood.
He lived in rented accommodation in Ballykealey for his first three years in the parish. Bishop Lennon then decided that a house should be built in Ballon and so in late 1989 Fr Whelan moved into the new parochial house on Ballon Hill.
While Fr Whelan saw his spiritual ministry as primary he achieved a lot on the administrative side of his role as Parish Priest. The churches in both Ballon and Rathoe were renovated to a very high standard, Ballon in 1996/97 and Rathoe in 2001/02. To assist him in the day to day running of the parish he set up a Parish Council and Finance committee in 1989. He also initiated weekly Adoration in both Ballon and Rathoe churches. During his years he embraced the ’lay ministry’ and visits to the school was something he enjoyed and believed to be important. He offered weekly mass in Riverdale Nursing Home and brought Communion there daily. A deeply religious man Fr Whelan was particularly known for his kindness to the sick of his parish and was a regular visitor to those in hospital and the housebound.
When Fr Whelan celebrated his golden jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood in June 2008 it was, by his own request, a low-key affair.
Fr Whelan retired as Parish priest on Saturday 30 August 2008 after 21 years ministering to the people of Ballon and Rathoe. However, he continued to work alongside his successor, Fr Brendan Howard, until the latter retired. Although in failing health he also continued to work alongside Fr Jim O’Connell up to last
Fr Whelan’s remains reposed at Saints Peter & Paul’s Church, Ballon on the day following his death allowing people to file pass and pay their respects, the day concluding with prayers recited by Mons. Brendan Byrne and Rev Jim O’Connell, Adm. Burial took place in Ballon Cemetery following Requiem Mass on Friday 26 June. Bishop Denis Nulty was the chief celebrant assisted by Mons Brendan Byrne, Fr Paul Dempsey,(Bishop elect), Fr Jim O’Connell, Fr Andy Leahy PP, Tullow, Fr
Conn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh (Carlow College) and Fr Thomas O’Byrne PP, Myshall.
Because of the restrictions on large gatherings by the government to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus only family and close friends were allowed in the church. However, crowds gathered in the churchyard and cemetery while others turned out along the route to the cemetery to pay their last respects to a kind and devout priest while observing the two-metre social distance.
Fr Jim O’Connell, paying tribute said that Fr Ned would be remembered for many reasons but above all for his goodness and kindness to the sick and hospitalised while his predecessor, Fr Brendan Howard was in total agreement adding that Fr Whelan was very welcoming and very helpful during his tenure as Parish Priest.
Fr. Edward was predeceased by his parents Patrick & Mary, brothers John, James, Paddy and Joe, sisters Harriet and Kathleen. Deeply regretted by his brother Tom, sisters-in-law Anne, Cecilia and Margaret, brother-in-law Ken, niece Sarah, nephew Pat, grandnephews Patrick and Shane, Bishop Denis Nulty, priests of the diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, Parish Priest Fr. Jim O’Connell, housekeeper Kathleen Condron, parishioners of Ballon/Rathoe Parish and his many, many friends.
MR JOE KENNEDY
Joe Kennedy, Gilbertstown, Rathoe, passed away peacefully on Tuesday 2 June at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow, following an illness bravely borne. Aged 64, he was son of the late David and Marie Kennedy and was one of a family eight. Joe worked all his life in farming and as a cattle dealer and had a big interest in horse racing. His remains were removed to St Patrick’s Church, Rathoe on Friday 5 June for Requiem Mass followed by interment in the adjoining cemetery. Rev Jim O’Connell Adm officiated. In keeping with the governments directive on crowd sizes to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus only immediately family were allowed to attend.
Joe is survived by his wife, Kathleen, step-daughter Philomena; brothers, Patrick (Ardnehue), David (Gilbertstown) and Edward (Gilbertstown); sisters, Mary Moloney (Oldtown, Nurney), Concepta Burke (Clonlara, County Clare), Jacqueline Harte (Boston) and Teresa Sweeney (Kilmyshall), aunt Mrs Pauline Brophy (Ballickmoyler); uncle Joe Kennedy (Ballycastle, County Antrim), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, kind neighbours and friends.
MRS FRANCES NOLAN
The death took place at St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny on Tuesday 28 April of Mrs Frances Nolan, Bendenstown, Rathoe. Aged 73 she was formerly Frances Halligan and was daughter of the late Ned and Nancy Halligan, Ballintrane.
Frances worked at various times for the late Mrs Hall (of Carlow Hunt fame) in Kellistown and in the Royal Hotel, Carlow and Ballykealey House Hotel. She married Joe Nolan in 1968 and the couple had three children, two sons and a daughter. Frances had little interests apart from being a wife and mother and later a grandmother but she did spend time looking after her garden and flowers. She enjoyed the tours with the senior citizens and liked to watch the soaps on television.
Because of the restrictions on large gatherings by the government to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus only close family and friends attended the requiem mass celebrated by Rev Thomas O’Byrne PP, Myshall in St Patrick’s Church, Rathoe on Thursday 30 April while neighbours and acquaintances gathered in the cemetery yard observing the two metre social distance as Frances was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery. Others turned out along the route to the church to pay their last respects to a kind neighbour and a good friend.
Frances is survived by her husband Joe; son Paul (Bendenstown), daughter Caroline (Bendenstown); daughter-in-law Thelma; grandchildren Shane and Niamh; brothers Ted (Nurney), Billy (Tullow), Ger (Bagenalstown), Kevin (Bagenalstown) and Oliver (Tullow); sisters Terry Hennessy (Dublin) and Jacqueline Clarke (Ballintrane); brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, kind neighbours and friends. She was predeceased by an infant son, John.
MRS KATHLEEN MURPHY
The parish of Ballon/Rathoe lost one of its oldest and most popular residents with the sudden passing of Mrs Kathleen Murphy, Carrigslaney, Kilbride on Saturday 28 March. She was aged 92 years.
Formerly Kathleen Brazil and a native of Ballyduff, Ferns she married Jim Murphy from Gurteen, Bunclody in 1946 and the couple had 13 children, They moved to Carrigslaney in 1949 where they farmed and raised their family.
Tragedy struck in 1970 when Jim was killed in a traffic accident about a mile from his home and Kathleen was left to raise her family, the eldest 22 and the youngest just three years. With the help of her older children she carried on farming until her sons were old enough to take over.
Kathleen was a much-loved mother, neighbour and friend who never missed Sunday Mass. She was kind and generous and had a large circle of friends. She was famous for her home-baking, especially her brown bread, and did some baking on the day prior to her death. She had a beautiful garden which included Sweet William, Flox and most noticeably a beautiful display of Sweet pea every August. She liked to watch TV in in the evenings.
Her remains reposed at her home before being removed directly to Ballon cemetery for burial on Monday 30 March. In keeping with the governments directive on crowd sizes to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus there was no Requiem Mass and only immediately family were allowed by the graveside where Fr Andy Leahy, Tullow officiated. A celebration of Kathleen’s life will take place at a later date.
Kathleen is survived by her daughters Chrissie Murphy (Carlow), Mary Sherry Naas), Peggy Dowling, (Hacketstown), Kathleen O’Toole (Boggan), Josephine Murphy (Sandbrook), Alice Nolan (Laragh), Teresa Maher (Ballykealey) sons Jim Denny, John and Bob (all Carrigslaney) and by her sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, relatives, kind neighbours and friends. As well as her husband, Kathleen was also predeceased by two infant sons, Denis and William and by her brother Robert and sister Josie.
MRS KITTY REDDY
Mrs Kitty (Catherine) Reddy, Graigue Cottage, Templepeter whose death took place at her residence on Wednesday 18 March was in her 103rd year and was the oldest parishioner in the parish of Ballon/Rathoe by some distance. She was born Kitty Gaul on 1 February 1918 to her parents Richard and Brigid and grew up and helped out on the family farm at Bricana, Gowran, County Kilkenny. To put everything into prospective, When Kitty was born, World War I was still ongoing, women only had the vote for the first time if they were over 30 and rural electrification had yet to happen. Kitty certainly saw some incredible changes during her long, happy and healthy life.
She married Johnny Reddy on 21 November 1956 and moved to Templepeter where she farmed with Johnny. The couple had one son, James. She was a devout Catholic who loved her pilgrimages to Knock and holy water. She was a great animal lover and she especially fond of her pet cats and sheep. She was an avid gardener, who absolutely loved flowers and created a beautiful garden at her home in the Fighting Cocks, where she had many friends. Kitty followed politics all her life and was a great Fianna Fail supporter. She continued to vote well into her nineties.
Kitty was cared for in later years by her daughter-in-law Margaret and son James, and grandchildren at her home as she wished.
Her remains reposed at Kearney’s Funeral Home in Fenagh before being removed to Saint Patrick’s Church, Rathoe on Saturday 21 March for Requiem Mass and burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.
Kitty is survived by her son Jimmy, daughter-in-law Margaret, grandchildren Bernard, Cathy & Valerie, great-grandchildren Jamie, Adam & Max, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours & friends. She was predeceased by her husband, Johnny in 1974 leaving her a widow for 46 years.
Because of the restrictions on large gatherings by the government to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus only close family and friends attended the requiem mass celebrated by Rev Jim O’Connell Adm while neighbours and acquaintances gathered in the cemetery yard observing the two metre social distance.
TOMMY NOLAN RIP
The death took place in St Luke’s Hospital, Kilkenny on Thursday 5 March of Thommy Nolan, Kelvin Court, Carlow and formerly from Sraugh, Ballon. Son of the late John and Mary Nolan, he was aged 80. He was fond of music and played the tin whistle. His remains reposed at Kearney’s Funeral Home, Fenagh before being removed to the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Ballon on Sunday 7 March for Requiem Mass and burial took place in Ballon Cemetery immediately afterwards.
Tommy is survived by his sisters Maggie Kelly (St Lazerian’s Home, Bagenalstown) and Kathleen Gaskin (Kilconnor, Fenagh), nieces, nephews and other relatives. He was predeceased by his sister, Maisie.
PATSY MAHER RIP
Patsy Maher, Killane, Ballon died suddenly at his home on Tuesday 18 February.
He was 60. A very quiet and retiring man Patsy worked at Kellistown Chickens and Lapple on leaving school but left work at an early age to care for his parents and brother. His religion was important to him and he liked getting involved in church services. He loved to socialise in the pub at weekends and he was a keen gardener and maintained him home to a very high standard. He watched TV quiet a bit and was a great fan of the various soaps.
His remains reposed at his home before being removed to the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Ballon on Friday 21 February for Requiem Mass and burial took place in the local cemetery afterwards. Patsy is survived by his sister Nuala O’Dwyer (Waterford); brothers Johnny (Ballykealey), Seamus (Ballykealey), Anthony (Carlow), Tommy (Killane) and Gerry (Killane); aunt, Nuala Coe (England); brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents and brother Timmy in 2017.
MS HANNAH NOLAN
The death took place peacefully in the loving care of the management and staff of the Sacred Heart Hospital, Carlow on Monday 3 February of Ms Hannah Nolan, Bendenstown, Rathoe. Hannah was in her 100th year and as such was the second oldest parishioner in Ballon/Rathoe. Hannah worked for a while in Erin Foods in Carlow but her love of animals and livestock led her to work for local landowner, Danny O’Neill, as herdswoman for decades.
Requiem Mass took place on Thursday 6 February in the Church of SS Peter and Paul, Ballon. She was buried alongside her parents immediately afterwards in the old cemetery adjoining the church – the first burial there in 15 years. Fr Jim O’Connell Adm officiated.
Predeceased by her brothers John, Mick, Lal and sister Maureen (Connie), Hannah is survived by her loving family Jim, Bernadette, Amelia, Loretta, Daira, Hannah and Gavin and by the Nolan, Brophy and Maher families, extended family and friends.
MR LANCE DOWLING
Larry (Lance) Dowling, Castlemore, Tullow, Co. Carlow, passed away peacefully on Friday 3 January, surrounded by his loving family at University Hospital, Waterford. He was aged 71 years. Lanced worked with various engineering firms before forming his own company, South East Aluminium, installing windows and doors as well as manufacturing wrought iron gates and spiral staircases. A sample of the latter work can be seen in SS Peter and Paul’s Church in Ballon.
Lance married Theresa Connick from Enniscorthy in 1970 and the couple had six children, four sons and two daughters. Car rallying was his main sporting interest but he also played squash in Rathoe for several years.
His remains reposed at his home before being removed to St Patrick’s Church, Rathoe on Sunday 5 January for Requiem Mass, followed by burial in adjoining cemetery.
Lance is survived by his wife Theresa, sons Laurence (England), Fergus (Ballon), Mark (Carlow) and Cyril (England); daughters Wendy Walsh (Ballintemple) and Geraldine Kinsella (South Carolina) and by his sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, 15 grandchildren, brothers Seamus and David, sister Anne, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts Tess and Shelia, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.