RETIRED Killarney publican and grocer Donie O’Meara, who passed away last Wednesday, was well known, well liked and very well respected in the community and his death has brought a sense of loss, sadness and grief, Killarney Parish Administrator, Fr Kieran O’Brien, said at his Requiem Mass this Saturday.
He said it was ironic that as the country went into a total lockdown on Wednesday night, Donie experienced a happy release and freedom from the ailments and struggles of this life.
Fr O’Brien said although he had been laid up for a few years, Donie had great heart, showed great determination, always enjoyed life and was forever in good form.
“He lived his life to the full and he kept going as long as he could. Life for him had no limits,” he said.
Donie was a lifelong member and passionate supporter of Legion GAA club, serving in many administrative roles down through the years and he was elected club president in 2015.
He also loved basketball, seldom missing a national league or cup game and he regularly travelled considerable distances to watch Killarney teams in action.
From Gortdromakerrie, Muckross, Donie, who was aged 78, was the familiar face in the former landmark O’Meara’s bar and grocery in High Street which was run by his family until he retired several years ago.
Fr O’Brien reflected that it was a traditional-style business with a grocery shop to the front and a bar to the rear and Donie was always there to meet and greet customers. His cheerful manner and easygoing nature made him a pleasure to meet.
Many people will have fond memories of him sitting on the window sill of the business watching the world go by.
“He loved to chat and he loved to meet people but you should not have been too sensitive in his company as he was often out to shock to see what the reaction was like,” Fr O’Brien reminded those gathered in St Mary’s Cathedral.
He said there are so many memories of Donie and stories to be retold about him and they will be a comfort to his family.
“His name will live on in High Street, in this town, in Gortdromakerrie and in his beloved club. Give thanks to God for his life and for the joy and colour that Donie brought to our lives,” Fr O’Brien said.
Donie was laid to rest in Aghadoe Cemetery, Killarney following a poignant final journey through the streets of the town in which he was greatly loved and respected.
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