Tommy had a smile and a story for everyone

The late Tommy O'Sullivan had 'a smile and a story for everyone'. (Photo: courtesy Francis Morrison)

As Fermoy mourns the loss of popular local, Tommy O’Sullivan, a story going back some 32 years has been shared with The Avondhu.

In April of 1990, Tommy O’Sullivan arrived in the door of Feach Amach, a pub that was located on Kent Street in Fermoy town and run by local man, Francis Morrison.

Well-known within the town and said to be ‘a great character’, the local customer claimed at the time that he was ‘down in the dumps’.

Pressed on the matter, it was revealed that Tommy was upset as his local pub had closed down, as the owners, who were in their early 90s at the time, had shut up shop.

Sitting down with Francis’ daughter, Louise, Tommy put together a poem about the pub’s closure, one which was never shared publicly or performed and was written under the pen name ‘Frank Dineen’.

Tommy was said to be ‘an intelligent man with a wealth of knowledge’, evident through his many writings, some of which he penned on the back of a torn beer mat, according to Francis.

“Tom, through the years, was a dear friend of ours and I’m so grateful for the fond memories I have from the many conversations that were had while sitting on a bar stool in Feach Amach’s.

“This piece is one of which Tom wrote on a Monday morning when his mood was sombre, sombre because ‘The lights are out in McAuliffe’s Pub’,” he added.

Speaking about Tommy, Francis told The Avondhu that he was very popular and always had a smile and a story for everyone he met.

“He sat down with my daughter and wrote the poem. He was a very learned man. He went to UCC and was well educated. He really was a gentleman and we were all very sorry to hear about his sudden death,” Francis said.

While McAuliffe’s Pub remained closed for a period, it was then purchased and reopened by Imelda Cullinan. The popular establishment continues to flourish as ‘The Long Bar’.

The Lights are out in McAuliffe’s Pub

Asked where was my abode
I’d say “just across the road
From McAuliffe’s Pub up on ‘The Hill’”
Where, over the years, I’ve had many a fill

Now Jack and May, they’ve earned their rest
And in retirement we wish them all the best
Of life’s contentment – its pleasures too!
Our friends and neighbours, bettered by few

Ninety-four years; now that’s some score!
If only we had a few years more
Dancing, singing, and bar hubbub
But no! The lights are out in McAuliffe’s Pub.