THE community of Rosscarbery has been left shocked and saddened after the sudden passing of local business man John O’Reilly.
Mr O’Reilly (57), who ran the Londis supermarket in the village square, was buried last Saturday.
His nephew Noel O’Donovan described the emotional scenes as John was shouldered through the square on his final journey before his burial.
John opened the Centra store in 1997, and would have marked his 25th year in business later this year.
Before that, in the early 1980s, he ran a grocers business on the Skibbereen Road.
Noel said that John took the ‘brave decision’ to open the supermarket to serve the community.
‘He took that chance for the community, and they supported him,’ he said.
‘John truly valued his customers, staff and the wider Rosscarbery community, always going above and beyond to make sure everyone was looked after.
‘Since his passing we’ve listened to so many stories of how he generously helped people over the years. This has been a source of great comfort to our family. We are determined to follow in his footsteps and continue his legacy.’
He described John as being like a ‘second father.’
‘He gave me the opportunity to come back to West Cork last year and get involved in the business and now we’re going to do our best to make sure what he built is secure for the future,’ said Noel.
John, he said, also had a great love of farming.
‘He spent much of the last 10 years on his farm with his much-loved animals and machinery,’ he said.