Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Tom Haughney

The Late Tom Haughney

Thomas (Tom) Haughney, Governey Square, Graiguecullen Bridge, Carlow who died at St Luke’s Hospital Kilkenny at the age of 87 on Tuesday August 19, 2003, was an outstanding footballer in his younger days and captained his native Laois in the Leinster SFC Final of 1943.  

Known affectionately as “Busyman’, because of the fact that he was a man who was always active and busy, Tom Haughney had four primary aspects to his life - Family, Business, Football and Fishing.

Winner of six Laois SFC medals during the 1930s and 1940s with his native Graiguecullen, Tom played in two Leinster finals with Laois - in 1940 when The O’Moore County lost 2-7 to 1-7 to Meath in the provincial final and again in ’43 when as captain he played at corner-forward on the team which lost to Louth.

Tom won a total of six Laois SFC title with Graiguecullen, skippering the team of 1942 - the full title of the team was Graiguecullen Young Ireland’s.

Those county championships were won in 1935, ’38, ’39, ’42, ’44 and ’45.

Tom had gone straight from minor into senior ranks with Graiguecullen and played at centre forward in the Graigue team of that golden era when there was a plethora of outstanding footballers within the club such as Tommy Murphy, Jim Sleator, Mick ’Cutchie’ Haughney, a cousin of Tom’s who captained Laois to Leinster final victory over Kildare in 1946, and Des Connolly.

Tom Haughney was noted for his fine fielding and ability to kick off either foot.

He was born on December 12, 1915 in Church Street, Graiguecullen and after his school days joined the Volunteers in the early 1930s when, among his colleagues in ’Dev’s Army’ of that era were Seán Prendergast, Cox’s Lane and the late Tom Nolan of Bagenalstown who went on to become a government minister.

He served in the army during that era of peacetime and was stationed at Kilworth Camp in Co. Cork. He played football with the army team of the time.

After a brief sojourn in England, Tom set up his own wholesaling business, operating from his Graiguecullen home. That was in 1938 and during the war years, Tom was to provide a lifeline of vital supplies to many people in counties Carlow, Laois, Kildare, Kilkenny and Wexford. As a wholesaler, Tom was in a position to obtain supplies of some items rationed by war such as tobacco, cigarettes, tea and chocolate.

Tom bought his first van from Michael Hennessy of Castledermot and had a gas producer on the vehicle which allowed him travel during wartime rationing to Dublin in order to obtain his supply of goods.

People came by train from many areas of surrounding counties, some bringing suitcases, to accommodate whatever items Tom could give them. One thing was certain nobody went home empty handed from Tom Haughney.

In this way, he proved a vital service to the small shopkeepers of Carlow Town and built up a very good relationship with the retail trade in that way a relationship also based on Tom’s absolute honesty and integrity.

As time went on, the Haughney wholesale business expanded by dint of Tom’s hard work and industry. In 1944, the demands of the business meant he needed a bigger premises so Tom purchased 23 Governey Square from Ritchie Hearns.

Tom was the first man to introduce bananas to the Carlow area. On one occasion, he obtained a consignment of dates at the docks in Waterford only to discover a live snake was an unwanted part of the delivery. He dealt in sweets, chocolate, fruit and toys supplying a variety of Christmas toys to shops in his area.

Having worked for some 25 years on his own in the business, Tom then received help in running the wholesale enterprise from family members and today his son, Tony is in charge.

Fishing was a life long hobby of Tom’s. He fished the rivers Barrow, Nore and Slaney for salmon and was considered one of Carlow’s best salmon fisherman.

His main priority, though always lay with the welfare of his wife, Clare and their large family. Tom had married Clare Cowley from Killeshin on September 24, 1943, in St Clare’s Church, Graiguecullen. Tom’s death came just a month short of their 60th wedding anniversary.

A man of strong Christian values, and a daily Mass goer, Tom had collected at first Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, for many years.

His death marks the passing of a good kind and considerate man.

The remains were removed on Thursday from Carpenters Funeral Home, Barrack Street, to St Clare’s Church where were received by Fr John Fingleton CC Graiguecullen- Killeshin.

Fr Fingleton was chief celebrant of the requiem Mass on Friday morning. In a homily during Mass, Fr Fingleton spoke of Tom as a family man, businessman and sportsman. The other cleargy present were Holy Ghost Fathers Aengus and Jack Finucane, who were related to Tom through the marraige of his daughter Sally.

The Graiguecullen jersey was placed on the coffin, with the Laois colours sewen onto the jersey.

Burial took place to St Mary’s cemetery, Carlow, with members of Graiguecullen GFC providing a guard of honour.

Tom is survived by his wife, Clare, family Mary-Clare Fennell ( Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath), Rosemay Haughney (Carlow), Norman (Graiguecullen), Tony (Governey Square) Sally Finucane (Dublin ), Jacinta Haughney (Carlow), Paul (United States), John (United States) and Raymond (United States). He was predeceased by two sons Francis and Frankie.

Tom is also survived by his brothers, Ned (Pollerton Road, Carlow) and Charlie ( St Fiaac’s Terrace, Graiguecullen) and sisters Peg Dempsey (New York) and Nacy O’Rourke (Graiguecullen) as well as by his 10 grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, friends, including many fellow Gaels.

Courtesy of The Nationalist - September 5th 2003

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