Joe Golly RIP

Published: Thursday, 04 January 2024

Joe Golly RIP, sad news of the passing of Joe, a man of great local knowledge and history he sent in numerous articles to this website over the years and we thank him for sharing his story's and he had many more to share but sadly time caught up on him.

In his working days many will recall him working in McGinley's shop in the village and I'm sure people have plenty of story's they can share.

Condolences to his family and many friends.

The peaceful death has taken place of Joseph Gallagher (Joe Golly) Rhannakilla, Teelin, in Sligo University Hospital. He will be sadly missed by his sister in law, Pauline Gallagher, brother in law, Seamus Doogan, nephews Stephen Gallagher & Micheal Doogan, his nieces Jacinta Breslin & Noreen Doogan, his extended family, friends & neighbours. Predeceased by his father Johnny and mother Hannah, brother John and sister Mary Frances.

Remains reposing at Mc Cabe's Funeral Home, Ardara, from 2.00pm until 7.00pm on Friday, removal from there at 7.00pm on Friday (travelling via Killybegs) going to St Columba's Church, Carrick, for 8.00pm to repose overnight. Funeral Mass on Saturday at 11.00am followed by burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

JOE GOLLY - By Ciaran Cunningham
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Joe Gallagher, Rhannakilla, Teelin yesterday.
My first part-time job was in McGinley’s supermarket in Carrick in 1978. My Mum already worked there so her motherly references secured my tenure. Joe took me under his wing and saw me as someone who he could possibly train up in the hope I’d stay on after college.
Nora McGinley’s shop was widely known for stocking everything from ‘a needle to an anchor’, although I can’t vouch for selling many anchors. Downstairs was the grocery department. Upstairs there was hardware, a shoe department, kitchenware and the office.
Joe, always in his white coat, managed the shop, while Nora ran the public bar next door.
Working in the shop was full of variety. I’d spend my day between the meat counter, stacking the shelves, humping gas cylinders from the gable, packing spuds out back, manning the till and on the odd occasion helping out stocking the bar for Nora. He insisted on cleanliness and the last job of the day was mopping the shop, front to back. The fact that I’ve written often about my time here should tell you that it was a happy place to work.
Joe was more than anxious to pass on his vast knowledge, whether it was rotating stock or dealing with incoming orders and salesmen. He was hugely supportive and always encouraged me to try new things. At the cheese counter, he insisted I taste a variety of cheese, which came in large blocks. I’d never become a Master of cheese but Joe understood that if his staff liked the produce, they would recommend it to the customers. Up to then, my experience with cheese did not expand far beyond a block of Calvita in the blue box, which I’m unsure would even pass the trades description act these days. Joe also insisted I try the pots of yoghurt which were new and exotic in Carrick back in 1979. I remember being surprised as yoghurt didn’t really feel like a ‘manly’ food back then.
He had a huge intellect and inquisitive mind. One Saturday after lunch, he insisted I go with him to a demonstration of a computer by a company new to Ireland down in the Tech. It was the first time I’d seen an Apple computer and although I’d end up with a career in IT, Joe definitely saw more potential than I did that day in this new emerging technology. He was integral to the success of MyGinley’s shop. He always had a warm welcome when I visited home in later years. I’d see him wait quietly and patiently before greeting me with a warm handshake. He’d be genuinely interested in how I was getting on at work and how my family were doing. He regularly joked to them that he had introduced me to computers and set me off on my career. Honestly, I do believe he may have sowed that seed.
Later, when I established the CarrickOnLine website, Joe was a regular contributor. He’d put together extensive, fully researched, historical documents about the local area, which he’d post to me in Letterkenny on a CD. The quality of his research was meticulous, equal and most likely better than many doctoral thesis. He loved it when I added the Carrick graveyard to the site in 2010. This was probably the first online resource of its kind and Joe often directed friends and family abroad to this page.
In one email, he told me he was working on a project about Teelin and was working his way through the Lawrence collection which he had sourced from the National Archives. He finished by saying, “I am just doing the CD to give to my friends. I just want to live a quiet life down here in Teelin and keep the dotage at bay.”
But Joe did more than keep ‘the dotage at bay’. He remained enthusiastic about local history. He was involved in the local community. There wasn’t a book launch or local event that he didn’t support. He had a sharp mind and continued to work quietly on his various projects. In another world, I believe, he would have been a wonderful college professor, always there to direct and encourage. I always admired his dignified work ethic and his quiet demeanour. He was a positive influence on all who knew him and the many who worked with him.
Joe, a true gentleman, was always professional and undoubtedly a steadying and positive influence on the young Seamus McGinley. In the absence of a father, Seamus ran wild. Joe managed the finances and left Nora without too many worries. He was quick to gently reprimand Seamus and remind him of his duty to his mother. It’s hard to think of Nora, Seamus and now Joe are all gone in such a short time. Their absence certainly leaves a large gap in my memories of growing up in Carrick.
I can only imagine him, on reaching Heaven, he’ll have his notebook out, documenting all who have gone before him. He’ll be gathering facts and collating his stories in his usual fastidious manner. I’ll be expecting a CD any day, although knowing Joe and his love for technology, I’m sure it’ll be stored somewhere safely up there in the Cloud.
Rest well Joe.
Ciaran Cunningham
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