The original of this obituary of Lorcan Kiernan, 1928 – 1977, is in the care of Colm Kiernan, currently residing in Sweden.
Death of Mr Lorcan Kiernan
The People Newspaper, Wexford, January 1977
A legion of friends and acquaintances, deeply mourn the death of Mr Lorcan Kiernan, “Loma”, Newtown Road, Wexford, which occurred at Ely Hospital, Wexford, on Thursday of last week.
Aged 48 years, Mr Kiernan was born in Dublin. He was son of the late Peter and Ellen Kiernan, and lived in Enniscorthy. He was a student of the local Christian Brothers’ schools. He commenced work in the County Hall, Wexford as clerical officer, with the County Council 30 years ago.
He first worked in the Housing section, then following a period in the Morter Taxation office, General Purposes, Rates, and he had been Housing Officer for 18 years.
In 1956 he was promoted to Staff Officer, and here he proved himself to be a most capable and able officer.
He served in various capacities, on the Officer Board and the Committee of the Wexford Branch of the Local Government and Public Services Union.
In 1965, he secured the Diploma in Local Administration of theInstitute of Public Administration.
Mr Kiernan had a great interest in history, and when in Enniscorthy was secretary of the Local National Monuments Advisory Committee, working in close co-operation with that wonderful historian, the late Rev Joseph Ransome.
He found that the Wexford County Council Staff’s Social Club and took an active part in the social and charitable activities of the group.
Many times he visited the hospitals in Wexford and Enniscorthy, with the County Hall carol singers and around Christmas time this year he was rewarded when the singers came to the gate of his residence to cheer him with songs and hymns traditional of the festive season.
Lorcan was a leading member of the County Hall, “Tops of the Town” group and was well known for his performances in drama and variety shows in Dun Mhuire, with his equally gifted colleague Billy Ringwood. He wrote many brilliant scripts for the variety shows and on a couple of occasions he helped his group to carry off the premiere award. Last year the group reached the all Ireland “Tops of the Town” semi-final, and on that occasion, the great comedy team of Lorcan Kiernan and Billy Ringwood played in a brilliant sketch entitled “Electionitis”.
One great love in the late Mr Kiernan’s life was acting. At the age of seventeen he founded the “St Patrick Players” in Enniscorthy, and produced many plays, the proceeds of which went to the CBS Building Fund. These plays usually entertained the patients of St John’s Hospital.
He was president of the Wexford Parish Drama Group for the past four years and was an active member for many years previously, participating in several drama festivals. For some years he did the make up of the Wexford Light Opera Society.
Mr Kiernan was a lovable character, kind and unassuming and was greatly devoted to his wife and family to whom numerous friends offer sympathy on the severe blow they have sustained.
There was an extremely large attendance at the removal of the remains to the church of the Immaculate Conception, Wexford. Rev Denis Doyle, CC, Rev John O’Brien, St Peters College, and Rev W. Howell, do., officiated.
Mass of The Resurrection was celebrated on Saturday by Rev Fr Doyle. Amongst the other clergy in attendance were – very Rev Declan Cleary, PP, Castelbridge, very Rev Seamus de Bhal, PP, Oulart; Rev Michael Funge, CC; Rev P O’Brien, SPC, and Rev H Sinnott, CC Caim.
The readings were taken by Billy Ringwood, County Hall, and Tomas Murray of the Wexford Parish Drama Group.
Interment took place afterwards, in St Ibar’s Cemetery, Crosstown.
Chief mourners – Mrs. Mairin Kiernan, (widow); Lorcan, Peter, Timmy, Colm, Giliosa, (children); Mrs Dympna Doyle, 25 St John’s Villas, Enniscorthy (sister); Padge Kiernan, London; Seamus Kiernan, Dublin (brothers); Mr and Mrs Timothy Kennedy, Arklow (parents in law); Mark Doyle, Thomas Kennedy, USA, John Grogan, USA, Maurice Byrne, and Noel Gavin (brothers in law); sister Nuala Kennedy, Mercy Order, Coolach, Dublin; sister Caroline Kennedy, Mercy Order, Goldenbridge, Dublin. Mrs Aideen Gavin, Longford; Mrs Maurice Byrne, Templeogue, Dublin, Mrs Padge Kiernan, London (sister is in law); uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Rev Denis Doyle CC officiated at the graveside, and many other clergy were in attendance. RIP.
To some men is given the capacity, temperament and personality to enrich our lives simply by their friendship. They are good to know and a joy to have as a friend. Such a man was Lorcan Kiernan.
One outstanding quality of life which endures above all others is good humour, and God bestowed Lorcan with this great quality and generous measure. Add to this an equal measure of loyalty, humanity and an amazing artistic talent, and the total person. That was Lorcan comes into focus. To all who knew him well these wonderful qualities made him stimulating companion and a loyal friend.
Lorcan had another profoundly attractive asset – he never grew up, and never lost his incredible sense of boyhood fun. When the occasion demanded seriousness, Lorcan had to work at it.
During his memorable years in the County Hall, while the rest of us pondered, frowned and worried over work problems, Lorcan instantly saw the inherent humour in them, adopted a light-hearted approach to their solution and then proceeded to solve the problem with an elegance that few could match. To his quick-fire mind, and with his unique descriptive talents, a programme of work became a military operation, a mundane occurrence was material for instant wit, a simple episode became an hilarious adventure. He had a startling capacity to argue, but none to quarrel.
Outside of his working life, to the people of Wexford, Lorcan will probably be best remembered for his talents on the stage. Excelling in either drama or a variety, a fierce love for the stage which he developed in his boyhood years never faltered and for many years he was the powerhouse of St Patrick’s Players, Enniscorthy and subsequently, Wexford Parish Drama Group.
In recent years, his priorities for his family and his profession left him insufficient time to devote to the dramatic stage, but he continued to delight Wexford audiences in his inimitable fashion. As an outstanding performer in “Tops of the Town” and variety shows, invariably performing for charitable causes. His reward was the roars of laughter from a packed Dun Mhuire Hall, which was heady wine to him.
His death in the fullness of life has left all who knew him well with a profound sense of personal loss. Above all, our hearts are with his wife, Mairin, and his family, who mourn him as a gifted husband and father but who must rejoice that they knew and loved him during the previous years.
I know you would want his final curtain call to resound with the words of the immortal Bard whose works he loved and interpreted so well:
Now cracks and noble heart, Goodnight, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Ar dheis De go raigh a anam dilis.
– BR [Billy Ringwood]