The life and times of Richard Halloran 1925 - 2021
Frank Clarke (Dick's nephew)
Richard, or as he was known to family and friends, Dick Halloran was born on the 28th of April 1925 to Thomas and Margaret O’Halloran. Dick was the second oldest of eight surviving children. Due to a clerical error Dick and his sister Julia (Sister Rosario) who currently resides in Matlock, Derbyshire, were registered with the surname Halloran while the rest of the family traded under the name of O’Halloran. Dick’s father Tommy was a carpenter and small farmer by trade. He was also a former member of the local IRA Battalion, Coy B Oughterard, East Connemara Brigade, in which he served until July 1922. His mother was Maggie (nee Corbett) originally from Cornamona just the other side of the north shore of lough Corrib.
Dick was brought up as a very orthodox Roman Catholic and went to school locally until he was approximately 13 years old. He had a couple of distinct childhood memories. The first was of local men climbing up the highest tree that they could find in the locality to hoist the Irish tricolour to mark the Eucharistic Congress of 1932. The second is of the shrill whistling of the last Clifden to Galway train as it made its final journey in 1935.
He remembered the harsh conditions of the war years and how they grew or made everything they used except tea, sugar and cigarettes.
In 1947 as a young man he travelled with his older brother Pat to the UK where he worked mostly in England and Wales. It was here that he developed his love of horse racing. He visited virtually all the famous racecourses in England and Wales for both Flat and Jump racing. He witnessed the famous ‘Arkle’ at his height. He lived through the post war rationing in England until it was lifted in the fifties. He worked with people from almost every nation, race and religion in the world. He also worked with German prisoners of war. He was friendly with one who was able to make children’s toys out of tin cans and sell them to the local children in the market. It was here that as a young man brought up in a monocultural Ireland that he learned to work with and accept difference.
In 1963, Dick returned from the UK to look after his elderly parents. He worked the family farm and had additional off farm jobs. One of which was maintaining an island property on Lough Corrib belonging to the McCoy family. Over time his parents passed away which was a cause of great sadness to him. However, while Dick did live alone, he was never lonely as due to his very sociable nature he was never short of visitors whether they be local or from overseas. He would always make it his business to attend all wakes and if possible funeral masses of local people. He was always available to help a neighbour when in distress due to ill health or misfortune.
While throughout his long life he was blessed with good health, it did fail him towards the end. Those good deeds to his neighbours were repaid in Dicks final years as it was due to their kindness and assistance that he was able to spend all but the last year of his long life in the home where he was born. Dick passed away in his nursing home in Moycullen on February 8th 2021 just a couple of months short of his 96th birthday. May he rest in peace.
nephew of the late Dick Halloran
son of the late Brid Halloran