eugene-sullivan-picEugene O’Sullivan was born at Lisnamuc, Croagh on  November 16th 1922. Along with his twin brother Mick, he attended the local primary school. On leaving school Eugene began an apprenticeship for carpentry with his mentor and lifelong friend Tom Healy, at Cappagh.

In the 1950s Eugene came to live in Cappagh and fully immersed himself in the vibrant community life of the parish. He used his skills across a variety of areas, for both his own enjoyment and the improvement of the locality.

Through his friend Tom Healy, he became a member of Cappagh Pipe band.  His instrument of choice was the drums. He also went on to play drums in the much loved St James’ Ceilí Band, who enjoyed a popular following in the 1950s and 60s.  Eugene also liked acting on stage. In 1961 the Cappagh Drama group, first formed in 1917, was revived.  Along with his future wife (Peig Hennessy), he took part in many successful productions, including : The New Gasoon, Mrs Mulligan’s Millions and Professor Tim.

While working as a sales rep with Southern Chemicals in Askeaton, Eugene met Mr Dermot O’Riordan. His deep commitment to the Muintir na Tíre movement greatly influenced Eugene. In January 1960, Eugene and four others (Fr McCarthy, Edmund Sheehy, Pat Cahill and Ernest Ruttle) were elected officers at a meeting held at the local school.  Eugene was elected Vice Chairman and was involved in Muintir Na Tíre  until the group was disbanded and replaced  by the new Community Council  in the 1990s. He was heavily involved in the building of community centre which opened on December 10th 1978.

Around this time Eugene also got involved in the new Group Water Scheme.  He was elected one of the trustees. The new scheme officially opened in 1968 and Eugene retained his involvement in the scheme until the 1990s.

In 1985 Eugene was elected a member of the local committee charged with overseeing the extensive renovations to the Catholic Church and the building of a new parochial house.  After a period of six months the church was reopened in December 1986. It was a deeply proud day for Fr Burke, his  committee members and the community at large.

After his retirement from Southern Chemicals, Eugene spent his time enjoying life in Cappagh with his wife Peig.  In later years ill health meant that he wasn’t able to participate in the community as much as he had done previously. However he remained always interested in what was going on. Eugene died on 13th October 2007.

Article by

Elanor Hennessy

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