A lone piper led Timmy Rancher White to his final resting place in his beloved home town of Mitchelstown on Wednesday evening in the presence of a huge crowd.
Having fought the good fight and with a critical illness having befallen him, Timmy 'The Rancher', finally succumbed and went to God on Monday of this week, surrounded by his family.
Timmy had a great love for his home place and for the people with whom he grew up in his beloved St Fanahan's Place. Indeed when he fought a case on behalf of the people of the town, 'my home town' was more often than not, part of the war cry.
A colourful character to say the least, Timmy, throughout his life, burned the candle at both ends. Having fought and succeeded in beating the dreaded disease of alcoholism, showing exceptional strength of character and in so doing, went on to mentor many others to do the same.
Ironically, he would go on to become proprietor of Mac's Bar in the 1980s which he turned into a Republican pub, proud to wear his Easter Lily always.
A staunch Republican, he marched through Ireland in all Republican commemorations and he went with his son Brian to Northern Ireland where he proudly shouldered Joe Cahill’s coffin. He got one of the roundabouts in town called after Tomas O'Dea – the Mitchelstown republican, courtesy opf Cork County Council and would get Mass said for O'Dea's commemoration in Brigown.
Timmy also went on to open an antiques and secoond hand shop down town and was well known for his car boot sales.
He moved to England at age 19 and his first job was with Coopers Mechanical Joints in London before moving back to Manchester to be with his wife. There he got a job with Robert Carlile doing builders maintenance. He got his nickname when he worked on asphalt roofs wearing a cowboy hat. His fellow workers would say he was ‘the only rancher that doesn't own a blade of grass’.
In the 1960s he returned home and worked for PJ Hegarty Building Contractors in Cork. In the1970s, he took up a position with South of Ireland Ashphalt, travelling all over Ireland with them.
He often shared great memories of swimming in Mitchelstown Lake in the grounds of Mitchelstown Castle as a young boy with his best friend, Bill Joe Pigott (RIP). Up until the time of his death, Timmey bemoaned the fact that the beautiful lake was no more.
In later years, he loved nothing more than to take the horse and trap into town and around the area, with Bill Joe up beside him.
Timmy was famous for his many write-ups in The Avondhu and was the first to get the paper out in town where he went door to door selling it. Every morning he listened to Neil Prendeville who often interviewed him on radio.
He tried for years during the 80s and 90s to have the 17th century Castle Gardens brought back to their former glory – a project that Cork Kerry Tourism projected as being capable of attracting 30,000 to 40,000 visitors a year to the town. Despite his best efforts, his dream failed to materialise.
Timmy loved his fag and cup of coffee and never tired of talking politics. He ran in 3 local elections (2004, 2009 and 2014) as both a Sinn Fein and Independent candidate and was so proud always of his Republican roots.
His grandchildren were the love of his life and he was so proud of every single one of them and of their achievements. He loved all sports, won a North Cork title in 1955 with the local CBS and was a major supporter at matches, proudly wearing the Mitchelstown colours on his shoulders.
Timmy’s popularity was evidenced by the large turnout for his reposal at his daughter Ann’s house in Ballybeg on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday at the Requiem Mass in Mitchelstown Parish Church followed by the burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery, both of which were celebrated by Canon Michael Fitzgerald P.P.
Timmy is survived by his wife Mary (nee McCauliffe), sons Michael, Tadie, John and Brian, daughters Ann (Dalton), Maggie (Keating) and Pidgie (Collins), sisters Kitty, Esther and Sheila, daughters-in-law Jean, Patricia, Vera and Helen, sons-in-law Bob, Mikey and Tony, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends to whom we extend our sincere sympathy.
To paraphrase Timmy's own words: 'There may be 100 cowboys, but there was only one Rancher'!
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm dílis. Rest in peace Timmy.