The untimely death of Jim Hassey on July 9th was an occasion of huge sadness and disbelief in Templemore and surrounding areas.
Jim died rather suddenly in St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny following a very brief illness.
He was well known and liked in the community having been the Postmaster in Templemore Post Office for the past 42 years.
Born in Waterford – The Déise, his family moved to Templemore when he was a small boy, his father Paddy opened a barber shop in town.
He married Margaret Moynihan from Upperchurch in 1974, and in July 1975 he was appointed Postmaster in Templemore, a position he held up to the time of his death.
He was always involved with the workings of the organisation, being an executive member of the Irish Postmasters Union from 1979-1997, and he was a former National President of the Union.
His interest in politics saw him serve a 5 year term as a member of Templemore Urban District Council from 1999 to 2004.
Some years ago Jim was one of those hugely involved in the Lake Project in Templemore Town Park. This development involved a huge amount of work being carried out on cleaning and re-enhancing the lake area.
Jim loved Vintage Tractors. He was a member of Thurles and District Vintage Club for a number of years, during which time he served as Chairman.
The club members driving the vintage tractors would be seen on many Sundays throughout the year on country ‘runs’ when they raised a huge amount of money for Tipperary Hospice and other worthy causes.
In fact on the Sunday before he was admitted to hospital, he drove his vintage tractor to a Vintage Day in Ballyroan, Portlaoise.
Jim Hassey was a great neighbour – nothing was too much trouble when a call for help came to his door. He loved young people, encouraging them rather than passing judgement on them.
All his acts of kindness were done quietly and with some wit and good humour. He always made sure that Santa letters would arrive at the North Pole on time and re-assured the senders that Santa would also arrive on time.
Jim treasured the time he spent with his grandchildren, and equally they loved time spent in his company.
He was ‘gifted’ as they say with ‘a great pair of hands’. He loved to restore items like vintage tractors and motor bikes.
He had a famous Honda 50 that he bought and drove around for a while. He sold it on, and some years later bought it back and painstakingly began restoring it back to full health, risking life and limb driving it out the Roscrea Road when he definitely shouldn’t have done so !!
He sold it on a few years ago to a man who has it proudly displayed in a pub somewhere in Kerry.
Jim will be sadly missed by his many customers, friends and all who had the pleasure of his company.
His remains reposed at his residence where large crowds gathered to pay their respects.
As the funeral cortege arrived for Requiem Mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Guards of Honour were formed by Thurles & District Vintage Club, former colleagues of Templemore Urban Council and local Fine Gael members. Interment took place in St Joseph’s Cemetery.
Sincere sympathy is extended to his wife Margaret, daughter Vivienne, sons Patrick and Seamus, son-in-law David, daughter-in-law Clare, Lorraine, grandchildren, sisters Sadie, Breda and Rita, uncle Larry, nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.