The late Sean Merrins
The late Sean Merrins has been described as a man of infinite mirth and mischief with a wicked sense of humour.
At his funeral mass last October, he was also described as having a kind and compassionate nature, coupled with sound judgement and a moderate nature; a man whose memory will live forever in the collective mind of those who knew him.
He lived at Harristown, Brannockstown, and will be remembered by many in Naas as the proprietor of the Gala Store, Newbridge Road, in the town.
Born at Harristown in 1948 to parents Martin and Breda, from whom he inherited his strong work ethic and an inherent sense of decency, he was the eldest of six children.
At his funeral mass, the illness which struck him was described as “random”. His acceptance of it was astounding and he demonstrated a courage and dignity, which will be a source of strength to others.
He was a very hard worker who, in later years, achieved a functioning work life balance and lived life to the full, which included regular trips to Spain while Ciaran managed the the family business, giving Sean and Mary the freedom and peace of mind to do so. Sean often referred to his life in Spain as his “little piece of Heaven”, a place where he could fully unwind, switch off and forget about problems or illness.
Sean met his wife and soulmate, Mary, at Dublin’s Crystal Ballroom and they formed a close friendship almost from the beginning.
The biggest loser in their blossoming relationship was was the Two Mile House Gaelic football team because he was to hang up his boots prematurely to devote his time to Mary.
They married in 1973 and their first child Alan, was born in 1974, followed soon after by Ken and Ciara. The family grew with the birth of Ciara’s daughter Kym, who, being the first grandchild, was the apple of her grandad’s eye, and they developed a wonderful relationship. The family expanded with the arrival of partners Criostoir, Kathy and William, as well as two more wonderful grandchildren, Libby and Max.
Sean’s education began at the Two Mile House primary school, followed by Naas CBS. From an early stage in his education, Sean’s entrepreneurial skills surfaced quickly. He worked with Lyons Tea and part-time in the local telephone exchange at a time when mobile phones were unheard of. He also worked with auctioneers/estate agents JP & M Doyle. At times it was difficult work, carried out in tough conditions and, after one afternoon standing in torrential rain at the sales yard in Maynooth, he decided to go into business for himself. The first step was a shop opening in a partnership arrangement in Kilcullen. He also spent many years on the road with a travelling shop, a role which brought him into contact with many people around the country and which added to his stock of stories and yarns.
Later still, he bought Comerford’s Shop at Newbridge Road, Naas, developing it and the site to its fullest potential over the subsequent years. He and Mary devoted many hours to building this business, routinely working seven days a week. It provided a great local service as well as employment opportunities for family members and many others, and still does today. Considerate and loyal, Sean had a great relationship with his staff, and he valued their friendship and commitment, regarding them all as an extension of his family.
He died on October 11 last and his funeral Mass took place at St Peter’s Church, Two Mile House, followed by burial in the adjoining cemetery. Sean is sadly missed by his loving wife Mary, sons Alan and Ken, daughter Ciara, brothers Aidan and Martin, sisters Rosaleen, Marian and Pauline, uncle Aidan, aunts Ena, Judy and Chris, daughter-in-law Kathy, son-in-law William, Alan’s partner Criostoir, grandchildren Kym, Libby and Max, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.