by Frank Kearney
Thomas Flynn was born into the family-run business started by his great-grandfather, Thomas Kearney. At the time the family lived at Carnoneen or Lackagh in a thatched dwelling which later became the Sunday Shop, now demolished, which was situated west of the present bar and lounge. Thomas Kearney had twelve in a family and he worked hard in building a business. In 1842 he was first granted a licence to sell liquor and tobacco. Following his death the business was passed on to this son Richard, who with his wife Catherine ran the business and following their death, in the 1920s, their daughter Maureen took over the mantle. Maureen Kearney married Michael Flynn and the business developed and grew under the name of M Flynn & Sons Ltd. When Maureen passed away in 1947, Thomas Flynn took over the running of the business.
It was under the watchful eye and astute management of Thomas Flynn that the business saw its greatest development. While the Lackagh firm always bought corn and wool, it was the development of the corn and feed business that saw Flynn’s of Lackagh become one of the leading businesses in the West. The development of corn and fertilizer led to new buildings. The old granary became a granary shop. The old family-run shop turned into a supermarket when they opened a franchise of VH on Sept 3rd 1966. The hardware expanded to a new building and shortly afterwards Flynn’s opened the SuperValu supermarket on a new site on July 9th 1976. Ironically this was on the same day that Roche’s Stores opened their doors to the public in Galway city. The grain and feed business also brought more changes and developments. In 1992, Thomas took on a new venture when he took over a business in Castlecoote, Roscommon—Farrell’s.
In April 12th 2001, a massive development of 10,000 sq feet replaced the old SuperValu. Thomas Flynn always acknowledged that the people of the area have afforded him the opportunity to develop and grow in business. He has in return been always willing to help the local community. When public lighting was needed in the village, Flynn’s of Lackagh came up with the sponsorship to install the lighting in the village, before Galway Co Council provided traffic route lighting in the area. When the parish found it difficult to get suitable lands for a graveyard, Thomas and family donated two acres of ground for a cemetery, free of charge. Thomas Flynn and Flynn’s of Lackagh have always been around to support all parish organisations. Thomas Flynn took over the business at a young age, following the death of his mother. After finishing a post-primary education in St Joseph’s Cistercian College, Roscrea, which followed his initial education at Lackagh NS, Thomas went to work for six months as an apprentice in Charlie Garavan’s shop in Galway, where he quickly learned the most important aspects of the business and went straight into the family business after that. His father, the late Michael Flynn, was a guiding light, but Thomas’s initiative was always much greater than his predecessors in the business. Thomas was married to Carmel McNamara and they had a large family. While Thomas had many good days he also endured very difficult days. He went through the ordeal of losing two of his sons, the oldest and youngest, who lost their lives in tragic circumstances. In between these tragedies, he also saw the passing of his father at an advanced age and his wife in her late 40s. Thomas displayed remarkable faith and courage over the years and retired in 2006 when his son Julian took over the business.
He is survived by his children Nicollette, Louisa, Victoria Jane, Olivia, Julian, Edwina, Isabella and Sabrina, brother Richard and sister Dr. Elizabeth (Betty) O’Malley, grandchildren, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law, nephews, nieces, in-laws, relatives, neighbours and many friends.
Thomas L Flynn (Flynn’s of Lackagh, Lackagh House, Turloughmore, Co Galway) April 9th 2013, (Peacefully at UHG after a short illness borne with courage and dignity); Dearly beloved husband of the late Carmel and cherished father of Nicholletta, Louisa, Victoria Jane, Olyvia, Julien, Edwina, Isabella and Sabrina. Predeceased by his sons Michael and Jonathan. Thomas will be sadly missed by his children, seventeen grandchildren, brother and sister, daughter in law, sons in law, extended family and close friends.
Rest in Peace
Thomas will repose in Lackagh Mortuary Chapel this (Thursday) evening from 5.30pm with Removal at 8.30pm to the Church of Our Lady of Knock, Lackagh. Funeral Mass tomorrow (Friday) at 11am, with Burial in Lackagh Cemetery.
Family flowers only, Donations if desired to Galway Hospice.