The recent death of David Lohan has left a major vacuum in Galway, particularly in the Prospect Hill, Bohermore and Woodquay areas. He was a major presence on the streets there.
David was born in Woodquay, one of five children to Michael Lohan and May Kenny. He was educated in Coláiste Iognáid and briefly attended UCG.
He dropped out however and went to UCD to study pharmacy, did a year-long internship in Grangegorman in Dublin and came back to Galway to the family business, a chemist shop on Prospect Hill which was set up in 1940 by his parents.
In those early days, many chemists had to supplement their income by working in hospitals. Michael was one of those and supplied Calvary Hospital until it changed ownership and became Galvia.
This made his pharmacy unusual in that prescriptions were the major part of the business, they only stocked a small range of beauty products. The public area of the shop was very small, most of the premises was given over to prescriptions.
The business was always based on service to the public and David carried on that tradition par excellence. “We are not in the centre of town, we have no parking, we are not beside a supermarket and we don’t carry a big range of cosmetics, but we have service and we give great advice. That’s what gives us our buzz”.
He watched the way his colleague Liam Belton interacted with customers and learned to do likewise. His parents were great supporters of local charities and he followed in their footsteps. At his retirement party, Keith Finnegan, the CEO of Galway Bay FM said “Whenever we put out a major appeal for a charity on the radio, the first response invariably comes from David Lohan.”
David was ‘oul shtock’, a true Galwegian: “I love Galway, my soul is here, I would not like to live any where else”.
And yet, he was a great supporter of Munster rugby. If one queried this strange allegiance he would simply say “The passion! I love the passion”. In fairness, he also attended Connacht matches. A daily swimmer, he was a great walker and a great reader. In a national poll, he was voted Pharmacist of the Year in 2005.
David Lohan was a good man, hardworking, innovative, kindness and generosity personified, as many Galwegians can attest to, always prepared to go the extra mile to show real care for those who needed help and care.
He is survived by his wife Máire and his daughters Maeve, Miriam and Aisling.