In a week when Flynn’s of Lackagh were awarded the Galway Bay FM Best Place to Work award, the company were deeply saddened as their longest serving staff member passed away after a long illness.
Maura Coen who was then Maura O’Brien came to work in Flynn’s of Lackgh as a young girl in the 1950s and served in the grocery shop that was located where the lounge bar is now.
It was a time when the shop sold evrything from a bicycle wheel to a penny bar or a pount of tea to the paraffin oil for the Tilly Lamp. The Annagh Cross native was no stranger to Lackagh as her mother had come from just across the road and members of the O’Brien family had attended Lackagh National School.
Maura quickly settled in and part of her job would also be to serve in the adjoining bar that was part of the grocery. Maura became a hugely popular staff member and was extremely well liked among staff and customers alike. Maura saw many changes during her time in Flynn’s.
The business established in 1842 by Thomas Kearney, who ran a small shop and got a licence to sell liquor in 1842, his son Richard Kearney and was passed on to his daughter Maureen Kearney who married Michael Flynn.
After Maureen’s passing her son Thomas Flynn took over the business which by then was 400 square feet that carried grocery, bar, hardware, drapery and egg store. They were days when everything and everywhere from on the floor to hanging off the ceiling. The business expanded and a small agricultural business began to grow and develop rapidly. Flyn’s bought corn and wool and supplied many of farmers needs.
The egg trade was still very important and much of the business in the early days was a barter trade where no money changed hands. Eggs were sold and groceries were bought. Corn and wool were sold and fertilisers or other products were boughg. It was still a relatively small business when Maura O’Brien started working there and she was part of the ongoing development through the years.
During the sixties and seventies huge changes and expansions came with a corn dryer and continuously expansion of the Agri Department. The area that is now the office became a Hardware store, the old shop turned into a VG Supermarker in 1966. The old grain store became the new Hardware store and the old hardware became the new office.
Flynn’s opened their first SuperValu on a new site, leading on to the complex that Flynn’s of Lackagh is today. Maura had married Joe Coen and rearing a family but stayed in Flynn’s where she became the senior member of the office staff and carefully looked after every customer.
Long after Maura should be retired, she was still in Flynn’s until her health began to fail. She had given almost 50 years of dedicated service to the company and to the people of the area.
In later years Maura suffered ill health and had a poor quality of life. Her passing is a release to her and her family, but she has left a legacy of memories.
Her remains were taken to the Churchof Mary Immaculate, Brooklodge and burial took place in Kilmoylan Cemetery. Maura is survived by her daughters Ann Marie and Teresa, sons Joseph and James and extended family.