Albert McGonagle RIP

An Avondhu file photo showing Albert and Brigid McGonagle at a concert in St Colman's College, Fermoy back in 2009. (J-d)

Albert’s Bar at the cross of Cork Road saw a many a good night for locals and visitors alike, and ‘the man of the house’ was hugely instrumental in making that happen.

This week, we mourn the death of James Albert McGonagle who died on Friday and who, by now, could very well be serving pints in his new-found heavenly home.

A native of Trim, County Meath, Albert was in his 80th year. While in London, he met and married his darling wife Brigid (nee Chamberlain) and in the late 60s, came back to Cork to manage the bar of the Douglas Golf Club. He later moved on to the South County Hotel and a further move saw him manage the well known Parnell Bar.

In the mid 1970s, Albert and Brigid bought the bar that would become known as ‘Albert’s Bar’, from the late Dave Heffernan. A house that was always good for a hooley or a session, the great Jack Brierly was a regular entertainer there for quite a long period.

A file photo showing Albert McGonagle (2nd back right) at the launch of the drinking ID card system introduced in May 1993, presenting Ian Clark, Beechfield with his ID card, in the presence of Supt Eamon Carey presenting Moira Dingivan, Uplands, Fermoy with her ID card; Sean Kavanagh of The Grand Hotel (left), John Batterbery, Castletownroche and John Mansworth, Cork County Chairman V.F.I.

He held the position of Secretary of the North Cork Vintners Association and was instrumental in forming the Lions Club in Fermoy of which he was the association’s first secretary. Albert retired from the business early in the new millennium and, when he left the pub trade behind, he moved to Corrin View Estate and it wasn’t long until he started up a residents’ association there.

Always interested in music, Albert was in his young days, involved with the musical society in his native Trim. When in Fermoy, he became involved with Fermoy Musical Society and helped out with fundraising for the local concert band.

A great family man, his children (and subsequently his grandchildren), were his pride and joy.

Albert will be sadly missed by his wife Brigid, daughter Claire (Gibson), sons Hugh and Paul, his siblings Beatrice, Pat, Margaret, Sean and Brian, extended family, friends and neighbours to whom we extend our sincere sympathy.

A very fitting rendition of Goodbye from ‘The White Horse Inn’ led by Kieran O’Connor, rang out around Kilcrumper New Cemetery where Albert was laid to rest on Monday afternoon.