A handsome young Michael O’Farrell got his big break when as an accountant with Geoghegan’s of Dublin, he was sent down to Galway to audit the books of Thos McDonogh and Sons.
Maura Flaherty was working as an accountant there, and Michael found himself going in and out of her office asking questions. Before the audit was completed, however, McDonogh director Peter ODonoghue was so impressed with Michael’s work that he offered him a permanent place in the well known Galway firm. Michael accepted, and he was soon walking out the Grattan Road with Maura making plans for their future.
And what a future it turned out to be. They were married for 52 happy years, were blessed with six children, and he enjoyed spoiling his nine grandchildren until recently before his death on January 28. In many ways his passing typified his busy family-centred life. His last few weeks were spent at his home Massabielle, Whitestrand, literally surrounded by his family. Thanks to the generosity of an Irish neighbourhood, and the support shown by friends, and the understanding of the way of death that still exists in Ireland, food magically appeared on the kitchen table, jobs were done, and people collected from stations and schools, so as much time as possible was spent with Michael, a much loved husband, dad, grandfather and friend.
Michael was born in January 22 1922, the third of four boys, to John and Kathleen O’Farrell near Strokestown, Co Roscommon. He attended Garbally College and followed his brothers to Dublin where Tom became a Vincentian priest, Dillon a vet, and he studied commerce at UCD.
Although a Roscommon man, he loved his adopted city and had problems when the two counties met on the playing fields. He loved golf and was a member of the Galway Golf Club for 50 years.
He was very fond of the Dominican Fathers, located in the Claddagh, and with Tom Cox, Brod Long, and Brian Carpenter founded the Claddagh Penny Bank, which was a God send to many hard pressed families at Christmas time and family events.
He was always the professional man. After 40 years he retired from McDonogh’s, and immediately went back to university to study finance. But he never retired from his shirt, tie and suit. Every morning, until recently, he collected his newspaper from Maher’s dressed impeccably for work.Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis