The funeral of Seán Doyle passes through Sarsfield Street where he once lived.

Town mourns death of popular figure

THE death took place in Dublin on December 28th of Nenagh native Seán Doyle, just three days before his 97th birthday.

Seán, who had a passion for his native town, spent most of his life working in the insurance sector and enjoyed a long career with the company Irish Life Assurance.

Seán (born John Christopher) lived a long life and enjoyed robust good health into his ninth decade.

A loyal supporter and long-time reader of The Guardian, he called to our offices just over six years ago. Back then, aged 90, he was in superb health and was playing golf at least twice a week, which he continued to do well into his 90s.

Sean grew up in Nenagh, in Saint John’s Terrace, and did his Leaving Certificate in the old CBS in John's Lane, around the corner from what would be his first home with his wife Mary on Sarsfield Street.

His first job, where he worked from 1944 to 1947, was in the offices of James O' Brien & Co, solicitors, in Pearse Street, Nenagh.

He joined Irish Life Assurance in May 1947, working as a representative in the Thurles area for four years, before being transferred to Roscrea, and then posted back to his native town for a period.

In 1967 he was promoted to Inspector and moved with his family to Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim, from where he covered the Leitrim, Roscommon, Cavan and Sligo areas.

Seán later worked in Dublin and was subsequently promoted District Manager for Carlow, before returning to offices in Dublin from where he managed the company’s South County Dublin operations from Dun Laoghaire, and retiring after 42 years service in 1987.

His wife of 64 years is Mary Ahern from Castlecranna, outside Nenagh. They had two children, John, a journalist and author now working in Canada, and the late Máire, formerly of University College, Dublin, who held a Doctorate in Irish Literature and who sadly died in October 2019.

A fluent Irish speaker and dedicated member of Conradh na Gaeilge, Seán organised the Irish Dancing Competitions at the North Tipperary Show for 13 successive years.

He was also an avid participant in amateur drama in Nenagh, both for Conradh na Gaeilge and The Kilruane Players, frequently performing in Irish, and won best actor awards at various festivals. As the winner of several awards, he performed on the stage of The Abbey Theatre in the 1950s.

He was also a keen golfer. “Golf has been my passion since I worked as a caddie in Nenagh, to earn extra money,” Seán told this newspaper six years ago.

He has held many officerships, including Captain of the Irish Life Golf Society. He was the first winner of the Irish Life Managing Director's Cup in 1956. He received an award from the society in recognition of his many years of service to that organisation and its members. In all the towns in which he lived and worked, golf anchored him in the local area.

Seán, who lived in Deansgrange, Dublin, will be sadly missed by his wife Mary, and son John, daughter-in-law Dolores, son-in-law Stephen, brother in-law Tom (Ahern), sister-in-law Mary Doyle, nieces, nephews, extended family, relatives and friends. He is pre-deceased by his brothers Paddy, Joe, Peter, Tony and his sister Breda (Morrissey).

Due to Government advice regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place followed by interment at Burgess Cemetery.

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