Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Pat Purcell Papers
Michael Governey

By kind permission of Michael Purcell


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Nationalist and Leinster Times. January 1924.

(abbreviated transcription of obituary published in the Nationalist.)

Death of Mr. Michael Governey.

Michael Governey Memorial card.
The late Mr. Michael Governey.

Michael Governey & his wife Madeline Brody.

A Great National Loss.

When news of the death of Mr. Michael Governey was heard on Thursday morning something like a shock was felt not only in Carlow but in every part of Ireland where he was known.

On Thursday last, the whole of Carlow and surrounding districts were ringing with the sad cry: "Mr. Governey is dead".

The generous friend of the poor, not only en masse, but individually, the nobel-hearted patriot, one of the most successful men of his time, but most of all, the Christian gentleman, who like his Divine Master, "went about doing good" was dead.

Only on Friday last he attended a meeting in the Town Hall, Carlow but it was obvious that he was suffering from a cold which developed into pneumonia.

Notwithstanding every care and the very best medical and nursing attention, he succumbed in a private nursing home in Dublin on Wednesday evening.

It truly may be said that Michael Governey died in harness. In his case the expression is not hackneyed, and in all probability it was public affairs which brought on the malady.

On Wednesday week he took part in an interview with Mr. Hogan, Minister of Agriculture, in connection with the County Carlow Land Movement.

His Life.

The late Mr. Governey was a native of Leix, and belonged to an old and respected family of the farming community. His people belong to the Ballylinan district.

Considerably over half a century ago, at the early age of thirteen and a half years, he entered as an apprentice into the well-known firm of Corcoran and Co. Carlow and even in his teens showed that business ability and tact which characterised him afterwards and assured that prosperity which came to him not through any particular circumstance or circumstances, because the deceased gentleman - and gentleman he was to the finger tips - was in his own particular spheres like Napoleon, who on one occasion, said he made circumstances.

The success of the Mineral Water Factory is entirely due to his business acumen and commercial foresight, and the Boot Factory is a household word, not merely in Carlow but throughout the Irish Nation.

The late Mr. Governey was a patriot in the truest sense of the word, and even in party politics he was one of the most broad-minded and tolerant of men.

It was often remarked as wonderful how he could give so much time to public work, and at the same time look after his own large business concern.

And while active in both spheres found time to help in other matters such as the Carlow County Agricultural Society and the Hunt Club, both of which bodies are important departments of our agricultural industry.

Sometimes, like all public men he was constrained to speak in vigorous, often very strong language, but if he did, he made no enemy, and his friends were legion.

The world, particularly at the present time can ill afford to lose such a personality, and certainly, more of his type are wanted in the land he loved, and almost adored.

It was said by Dean Swift that a real patriot was one who made two blades of grass grow where only one grew before and this definition could be aptly applied to Carlow's leading civic citizen, who has gone to reap the rewards of a useful life, useful to his town, his county and to the Nation.

The late Mr. Governey was twice married, first to Miss Corcoran and about 18 years ago he married Miss Brodie, daughter of the late Colonel Brodie, he leaves a young family of nine children.

On Thursday the remains were removed by rail from Kingsbridge to Carlow by the 3.30 train and were received at Carlow Station by an immense throng of people.

It may be said that all the people of Carlow were present to respect all that was mortal of a great citizen. Employees of the deceased gentleman walked in formation, and the progress of the cortege to the Cathedral was characterised by emotion and evident sorrow.

When the coffin was borne towards the Altar, the Cathedral filled. Rev. J.J. Dunny, C.C., then ascended the pulpit and recited the Rosary, which was reverently responded to by a sorrowing congregation.

To the afflicted widow and young family we tender our sincerest sympathy.

By special request, no wreaths of perishable earthly flowers were placed on the grave of Michael Governey.

Source: The Nationalist - 1924 &

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