THE PASSING OF A LARGER THAN LIFE IRISH CHARACTER
Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Legend and Dear Friend
Biography kindly donated by Oliver O’Connell, Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland.
We are at a time now in Ireland when we are so short of heroes, We have no one it seems to inspire us, to motivate us, to make us laugh, to make us feel good about ourselves. When Eamonn O’Loghlin passed away he took from us more than his friendship, he took away a piece of ourselves as we were at our best in his company. He brought out the true Irish in everyone, He even managed to bring the Irish out in complete strangers, people who had never set foot in Ireland, when in Eamon’s company they were as Irish as Paidin Mhic Thomais O’Flathertaigh from Carraroe in Connemara.
Eamon’s life was a tapestry woven from a love of his Family, Country, his home town of Ennistymon, his love of music and songs, his love of Irish Culture, Heritage His love of Canada, America and his love of people, and into that mix he liked a pint and he loved to party.
Eamon was born in Ennistymon in North Clare and in the 1960’s and 1970’s before he emigrated to Canada. Ennistymon was a peculiar little town, there was very little employment, life could be tough going, It was a market town where on a Saturday, there would be pigs for sale, cattle, vegetables, turf, geese, hens, jam, butter, anything that would generate revenue for the vendor.
Eamon’s father Charles O’Loghlin owned a drapery shop in the town and he was an austere, old school type businessman, tough disciplinarian and on more than one occasion, it is safe to say that Eamon proved a challenge for him as Eamon loved to hang out with the local characters who most of the time were up to no good, but Eamon revelled in their company.
Being able to play the piano was no bad thing for Eamon at that time in his pursuit of craic and while he was no Liberace on the Piano and he did not have the massive rings and flamboyant clothes of Liberace, he could certainly capture a crowd and hold their attention.
He left an indelible mark on life in Ennistymon in the 60’s and 70’s. He also captured Lahinch where he played in a group called the “Beach Boys” with Gussy Hayes (They stole the name from the American Beach Boys) but as far as Eamon was concerned, The Lahinch Beach Boys were the real deal. He left a mark in Lisdoonvarna during the matchmaking festival and there are stories about him that cannot be printed but would make a great movie. and during his college years in St Flannans in Ennis and Cork, they still to this day shudder when his name is mentioned.
His motto seemed to have been very simple “enjoy life” and he certainly lived by that motto. He had a very distinctive laugh, you would hear the laugh before you saw him. I said to him one time that his laugh was like a hyena giving birth, but the fast response came back to me immediately, “No Ollie it’s more like a Hyena having sex” and then we heard the laugh again, and everybody within hearing distance laughed with us.
When we would meet at the conventions in America, He would spend a lot of time recalling the characters from Ennistymon in his childhood, he never let go of those times. He loved the carefree way of life in Ireland 50 years ago.
He hated what happened to Ireland in the last decade when greed took over and a small number of people in prominent positions bankrupted the Country and forced thousands of young people to emigrate. He hated that and he was vocal in his condemnation of them.
Eamon was true to his beliefs at all times and even though he was the life and soul of any gathering and was up for anything that would generate laughter, there was also a very sincere side to the man, and it would do him an injustice if we only remembered the funny Eamon.
When I was very sick in 2011, Eamon was extremely worried about me, and I would get phone calls late at night from Toronto inquiring about my health and when I met him in St Louis at the convention in 2012, he was so delighted to see me and to know that I was well again. I will remember him for that.
He was a kind generous, good natured human being and we are a poorer race for his passing. His legacy and his memory will live forever in the minds and hearts of those who love Ireland. And everywhere Irish music will be played and wherever true Irish men and women will congregate, the air will be sprinkled with the spirit and the love of the man who epitomised Ireland at its best, The man from Ennistymon in Co Clare. Eamon, my dear Friend We all love you.