Former Kildare shopkeeper, turf man and milk man, 102 year old Edin Ward, dies

Owned and ran Wards shop in Cooleragh


Former shopkeeper, turf man and milk man, 102 year old Edin Ward, dies

Edin Ward, centre, with Bishop Denis Nulty and Fr Rambottom.

The death has occured of 102 year old Eden Ward, from Coill Dubh.

He died peacefully on Wednesday, March 14, in the care of the staff at Parke House Nursing Home, Kilcock.

Beloved husband of the late Rose, his passing is deeply regretted and sadly missed by his nephews J J, Butsy, Johnny and Gerry, nieces Teresa, Mary and Breda, brother-in-law John and his wife Mary, Mary Balfe and all his carers, neighbours and friends.

His remains were reposing at Reilly's Funeral Home, Prosperous on Wednesday. Removal this evening, Thursday at 6:30pm to Christ The King Church, Cooleragh arriving at 7pm. Funeral Mass on Friday at 10am, followed by burial in Killybegs Cemetery. Family flowers only please, donations, if desired, to St. Vincent De Paul, donations box in the church.

Born in 1916, Mr Ward was best known for running a shop for many years in Cooleragh near Coill Dubh. In recent years he wrote and launched the book ‘Edward Ward, My life story – My memoirs and Observations’ which recalled buying a lorry for £200, buying a tankful of petrol for the lorry for a £1, and earning a good weekly wage of £5.

It was a window into at rural Kildare of the 1920’s and 30’s, where “better off people” travelled to Mass in a pony and trap. The book chronicled his life from early days on the canal banks in Blackwood to various jobs he had, which included working as a milk man, turf man and shop keeper. Eden married his girlfriend of 40 years at the ripe old age of 87.

His mother died when he was young which brought his days as a gifted pupil in school to an immature end at the age of 14 to help run the family farm. At a later point, he decided to go into turf production, and for a decade in the 1930s and 40’s he was quite successful a change of government de-prioritised the production of turf which lead to resurgence of the availability of coal.

However, from the mid 40’s, he had his shop in Cooleragh which supplied the Bord na Mona hostel workers – and there he stayed until the mid 1990’s, when he retired. Down through the years, he ran milk delivery businesses alongside the shop. 

Eden married his late wife, Rose Murphy, who had worked with him in the shop for many years. When she died on March 15, 2012 he admitted in his book “I was then, and still am, shattered by the loss”.