Monday 16 September 2019

Christy was manager of the old Capitol Cinema

The late Christy Hanton
The late Christy Hanton

By Maria Pepper

Mr. Christopher (Christy) Hanton who died last week, was a manager of the former Capitol Cinema in Wexford for many years.

Christy passed away in Wexford General Hospital following a very brief illness. He was 93 years old and had been living independently, with the close support of his family, at his home in Devereux Villas until a week before he died.

Christy is survived by his son Martin; his daughters Bridie, Lilly, Anne, Teresa, Mary, Joan and Evelyn; his sisters Breda and Josie; his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren and by his extended family and many friends.

In his early life, he worked as a projectionist at the Abbey Cinema in George's Street before moving to the former Capitol Cinema in South Main Street as a projectionist and later as a manager.

It was the glorious heyday of cinema-going in Wexford when films were one of the most popular entertainments around and Christy was at the centre of it for many years.

When the Capitol closed down in the late 1980's, Christy continued his hackney service, one of only a few in Wexford town at the time. Among his regular runs in a Volkwagen mini-bus were bringing pupils to St. Patrick's Special School in Enniscorthy, ferrying Traveller children from outlying areas to school in Wexford town and transporting prisoners to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.

He became very well known through his job in the cinema and the hackney business and his unfailingly kind and friendly approach to people ensured that he was very popular and well-liked by everyone he met.

Christy was a member of the Local Defence Force (LDF) during the 2nd World War, known in Ireland as 'The Emergency'. In fact, he was the second-last known surviving member of the old LDF in Wexford.

He was also actively involved in the Organisation of Ex-Servicemen and Women (O.N.E.) which provided a guard of honour as his coffin was carried from Bride Street Church following his funeral Mass last Saturday. The chaplain of the 1st Battalion of the Irish Army based in Galway attended the funeral.

A son of the late Thomas and Molly Hanton, Christy grew up in Maudlintown. He experienced tragedy at a young age when his father was knocked down and killed by a car at the age of 31 after he had survived the 2nd World War during which he went missing in France. Christy's three uncles also served in the British Army.

He was predeceased by his beloved wife Mary Ellen and by his brothers Thomas and Paddy and his sister Nancy.

Burial took place in Cleariestown Cemetery.

Wexford People

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