HOLLYWOOD ‘cute meets’ don’t get any better than Denis O’Leary’s first meeting with Rose, the woman who became his wife of 47 years.
Rose, who was on holidays in the area in 1969, popped into a gift shop at The Bridge in Skibbereen and asked Denis, a pioneer, where she could buy a bottle of Irish whiskey to take back to her father in London.
He insisted on getting it for her and included in the package one of the Shanagarry pottery jugs he sold in the shop, plus his calling card! When Rose discovered the additional gift, she called to say ‘thank you’ and found she ‘couldn’t get rid of him after that.’
Rose said everyone knew the businessman – who was a solid feature in the commercial life of the town from the 1960s – that he was religious and very funny. She said he couldn’t sing a note but would persist in doing so; and was fond of recitations, Irish music and telling stories.
Denis died in a crash after suffering what is believed to have been a heart attack in the town last Saturday.
The town is also mourning the passing of Mary Minihane, who ran what was certainly one of the most distinctive public houses at North Street.