While it was not unexpected, the death of Pat O’Callaghan which occurred at his home in Mitchelstown on Friday, has evoked deep regret and sadness throughout a wide area.
Pat, his wife Mary, endeared themselves to the thousands of people who have frequented their cafe and delicatessen on Lower Cork Street since they first opened in 1988 – and that affection, respect and loyalty continues today through their children – Paddy, Tom and Kate.
A native of West End, Mallow, Pat became very much part of the commercial life of the town and was a prominent member of the local business association. Pat and Mary immersed themselves in their business, making it one of the most popular dining establishments in Munster.
Callaghan’s started out as a 32 seater cafe in the late 1980s but, following the take-over of the adjoining Annie Lyons’s grocery shop in the mid-1990s, they now cater for over 130 people.
Pat, who had been unwell for the past few years, bore his illness with great courage and humility. His acceptance of the cruel hand he had been dealt, was admirable to say the least.
Many tributes have been paid to Pat and the O’Callaghan family. Claudia Matassa, on behalf of the Mitchelstown Business Association (MBA) committee, extended sincere condolences to the family, saying: “Pat and Mary have always had great involvement with the MBA. Paddy now continues that tradition and is a valued member of the committee. We are deeply saddened by the family’s loss.”
Pat and his family’s popularity was very evident by the large numbers of people who ‘stood out’ as the cortege travelled from his home in Kildorrery Road on Monday, via Georges Street, Baldwin Street and Lower Cork Street on its way to the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin.
The cortege paused outside the family’s business premises on Lower Cork Street where some prayers were recited. Following Requiem Mass, cremation took place at the Island Crematorium, Ringaskiddy.
Pat is greatly missed by his wife Mary, sons Paddy and Tom and daughter Kate; his siblings Nora, Jim, John, David, Marion, Una, Kathyrn, Eddie, Robert and Christopher, daughter-in-law Fiona, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and friends, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.