Oughterard has a misleading atmosphere of the totally anglicized. The inhabitants rather enjoy this façade and laugh at those who accept it as real.
The death of Tommy Mc Quinn jerks one into the world of reality. Oughterard and Connemara generally have in every age produced their great men and women in every sphere of life. In my time there were two such men. Frank Egan and Tommy Mc Quinn. The former died young – too young to have his worth truly acknowledged. Tommy Mc Quinn lived a full live. Not rich in material things, his wealth reposed firmly from his firmness of purpose, independence of mind and above all else an unswerving adherence to principles.
From early youth he gave his support to the founders of the New Irish State, and spared no effort to maintain it. He rightly took pride in this activity.
Not prepared to accept such a threat
When democracy and freedom of speech were threatened in the early 30’s he responded patriotically. They were strange times but Tommy Mc Quinn was not prepared to accept such a threat, particularly when it came from the violent fringe of the elected Government. Democracy triumphed and free speech survived and Tommy Mc Quinn played no small part in that achievement.
Went to Spain
He had great belief in his Faith. When he thought it was threatened he went to Spain with O Duffy in the Irish Brigade to defend Christ. It was a far cry from the serenity of Eighterard to the sun-drenched steps above Madrid. When ideologies were in question he was there by the side of truth.
The he came back and settled at home, taking a lively part in the political and social aspects of his community. Recently he has gone to his reward and must surely have been received with joy as throughout his life to all things good he gave witness bravely.
His wife and community will miss him. Loneliness is her lot.
It will be easier because of the strong mixture of true pride. Tommy was a good husband, a good neighbour and a true friend.
Note; The obituary was taken from Mary Conneely’s scrap book 1981.