For a host of people of different generations memories were recalled as the news of the passing of Frank Fahy spread across the county. Frank was a man who put more into a lifetime than most and there were many people that at some stage he had some involvement with.
Frank was born on a farm on the Turloughmore side of Annaghill and was in the older bunch of a large family. Farming was never going to be the career path that Frank would take, but working on the family farm as a youth in the forties and fifties gave him a grounding that would stand to him for life. Frank attended Annagh National School and later attended educational facilities in Cork and in St. Mary’s College, where he played both hurling and football. Frank went on the hurling fields playing for Turloughmore, losing the county minor final to Loughrea in 1950.
Playing juniot at the time, Frank was recognised at county level and drafted into the Galway junior hurling panel and was part of the squads that reached All-Ireland Junior finals in 1951, 55 and 57.
Frank had also played football with Corofin, winning a County junior medal with the club in 1959. Frank Fahy would play a pivitol role in the decision to amalgamate the Turloughmore club in 1956. In 1954 Turloughmore had played in the senior hurling championship and performed well, drawing with Castlegar in their first outing. However, at the time the club was made up of junior teams from different corners of the parish.
On the seventieth anniversary of the founding of Turloughmore club a meeting in Conneely’s forge brought an agreemtn to unite the club as one and play under the banner of Turloughmore. The late Johnny Egan, Paddy Dempsey and Frank Fahy became the new officers and their guidance and expertise led to unity that would have a long lasting effect of hurling in the parish and the club.
Turloughmore went on to capture the Galway senior title that year and that set the platform for the great six in a row from 1961 to 1966. Frank Fahy played at wing back for many of these games during that era, but it was his guidance and work ethic off the field that also paid rich dividends for the club. Frank knew that money was also needed to keep the club on a successful path as Army man Mick Brennan was a paid masseur for the club at the time.
The showban era was starting and dance halls and country marquees were being created by future Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and others, and Frank Fahy was quick to see the market and booked bands and a marquee and established Turloughmore as a leading dance venue starting every Easter Sunday night for several years.
At the time there was no social activity outside of drama during the season of Lent, on the instructions of the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church, so getting a dancing carnival on Easter Sunday when the restrictions were lifted was a master stroke from the Turloughmore genius.
That decision on organising the Turloughmore Marquee would eventually have a life changing effect on Frank. Turloughmore Carnival was a mammoth success and later Frank Fahy would help organise and supply marquees to other sporting clubs and venues.
When marquee dancing began to waver Frank Fahy with others reopened the popular old Cummer Ballroom that Frank himself had danced to as a young man when it was run by the later Andy Keaveney and his wife, and ran this new look dance hall under the name of The Ranch House.
In the seventies and eighties The Ranch House became one of the largest attractions around as top country bands played at the venue. Following on his success in supplying marquees for running dances, Frank set up Western Pleasure which supplied marquees for all type of events. The company, rebranded Eventus, is now run by his son John and family and is among the leading exhibition structure companies in Europe.
Hosting tentage villages at major race meetings, the Rose of Tralee and the Ryder Cup, the company started by Frank Fahy has left an indelible mark around the world. When Frank left his secure job at the Board of Works to set up the Marquee business, he became a very respected emplyer and employed many local people on a partime or full time basis.
He worked hard and demanded the same but treated staff well for their efforts. He was extremely generous to local clubs, and soeieties and in particulr to cancer related projects, having lost his wife and daughter within a few years of each other,
Frank’s interest in sport and in particular hurling never ceased and while he lived in Tuam since 1959, he remained active in Turloughmore club and went on to promote hurling and became the first County Hurling Board Secretary in 1972,
Frank sought player welfare and demanded the best and serving as Galway Hurling team manager and selector in the seventies and the under 21 success of 1972. National League success of 1975 and All Ireland final appearances in 1975 and 79 led to Galway’s All-Ireland successes in the 1980s, many gave credit to Frank Fahy for his inventiventes.
In the eighties when Tuam Stars were in the doldrums, Frank became involved in his adopted club and served at executive level in the club during a successful period.
During his tenure as Chairman of Tuam Stars, Frank helped the club with his shrewd behind the scenes appraoch to capture the Senior Football Championship Title of 1984, Tuam’s first title since 1962.
Frank Fahy will be fondly remembered in Turloughmore, Corofin and Tuam, and by the many lives he touched during a chequered career. His contribution to Turloughmore hurling club along with his old school pupil from his days in annagh Phelim Murphy will be forever cherished and remembered.
However, it was the vision and generosity of Frank Fahy who travelled the country and dug deep into his own pocket in early years in supplying hurleys for younger players that set up his native Turlougmore team to become one of te greatest hurling teams of an era that will be forever remembered.
To the family and friends of Frank Fahy the people of the area extend sincere sympathies.