Thursday 14 November 2019

Oylegate farmer Michael was a true gentleman

The late Michael O'Connor.
The late Michael O'Connor.

The community of Oylegate and surrounding area were deeply saddened by the death of Michael O'Connor, Tinnahask, who died recently at the age of 85.

Michael was a kind, caring good humoured man - a true gentleman and was always ready to give a helping hand to others. A family man who got great enjoyment from all his grandchildren and was very proud of their achievements.

Michael farmed all his life in Tinnahask and built up a successful dairy herd with his son Seamus. Sport played a big part in his life, he had a particular love of horses, greyhounds and GAA.

From a young age Michael's great love was horses and he went on to achieve great success, from riding in point-to-points initially to progressing to breeding and training many winners both in point-to-points and on the track over the years.

His first winner as a breeder and trainer was Venc McQuaid in the eighties, a day remembered and still spoken about by many of his great friends, followed on by many other winners over the years.

Michael continued his mother's love of greyhounds and had many successes far and wide over the years under the 'Whitefort' prefix, only recently winning dog of the year at Waterford track, a tradition that is continued by his daughters and grandchildren. He even made an appearance on RTE's 'Ear to the Ground' with a feature on his greyhounds in 2007. Many will remember Michael as a regular at Enniscorthy track where he will be deeply missed.

A proud member of Fianna Fail, he worked tirelessly over the years for the party. He enjoyed politics and won many an argument with the opposition.

Michael was the beloved husband of Nancy for 56 years and will be deeply missed by Nancy, his son Seamus, daughters, sons-in-law, 20 grandchildren, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, relatives and friends. Michael was predeceased by his brother Hermes and sister Marie.

The Month's Mind Mass takes place at St David's Church, Oylegate on Saturday, June 13, at 6.30 p.m.

Wexford People