It was with immense sadness that I learned of Dan Moran’s passing in his 102nd year on Thursday, August 29th.
I had the great honour and pleasure of visiting Dan in the welcoming surrounds of Tearmainn Bhride Nursing Home in Brideswell the day after his 100th birthday last year. That day he welcomed a number of his friends from the Athleague Comhaltas branch as well as members of the Castlecoote-Fuerty Fleadh Cheoil committee and distinguished guests Dr. Labhras Ó Murchú and his wife Una.
Dr. Ó Murchú is the Director General of CCE and was in town to officially launch this year’s Fleadh Cheoil in Castlecoote later that night. He kindly stopped by to make a presentation to Dan to mark his 100th birthday.
Dan told me about his famed walking sticks as well as his life as a sheep farmer. He was a renowned sheepdog breeder for the best part of 50 years and while he told me he never won any “big titles” he assured me he had the best of working sheepdogs.
Sheep farming was his occupation but his beloved hobby was singing and music. He was modest when discussing his ability on the piano accordion and told me that even at the age of 100 he was learning to play the clarinet. Dr. Ó Murchú and his wife Una were even invited back to Brideswell to listen to Dan singing ‘The Felons of Our Land’, which Dan was in the process of learning at the time.
What I’ll most remember however is Dan’s impromptu performance that day. He sang ‘The Isle of Innisfree’ beautifully before telling me he still got tremendous enjoyment from singing and playing music with other people.
A day after becoming a centurion, Dan brought laughter and song to those fortunate enough to be present in Brideswell that day.
He will be sorely missed but fondly remembered by many and I count myself lucky that I was able to spend that very enjoyable afternoon with him.
Dan, who was the beloved husband of the late Josephine and much-loved father to Sean, Bernie Condron, Ollie, Mary Finan, and Anthony was laid to rest in Tisrara Cemetery last Sunday following Mass in Christ the Good Shepherd, Four Roads.
I extend my deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.