Nationalist and Leinster Times. 29th
Death of Well Known Personality.
Carlow people were shocked and saddened
on Monday to hear of the untimely death in a Dublin hospital of one
of the town's most colourful personalities, Mr Terry O'Morain.
A Dublin man he came to Carlow in 1941 as
Health Inspector to Carlow County Council - a position he held up to
the time of his death.
Terry, who was aged 55, was renowned all
over Leinster as a most talented amateur actor and producer and was
a frequent adjudicator at Drama Festivals.
In 1945, he and a few friends founded
Carlow Little Theatre Society and from that time on his devotion to
this group never waned. He held every office within the Society and
was generally looked on as the person mainly responsible for its
many successes and achievements.
At Easter this year, the Society
celebrated its coming of age by re-staging with almost an entirely
different cast one of its earlier successes, Sean O'Casey's "The
Plough and the Stars".
One of the few people who remained from
the earlier production was Terry O'Morain as Fluther Good. This was
possibly his greatest role, in fact in the opinion of Ria Mooney,
the well-known Abbey producer, Terry was the best Fluther Good since
His acting was forceful and inventive and
he was a complete master of technique. He excelled in Irish plays
especially those about Dublin life and he was at his best in
Other notable roles of his included Joe
Keller in "All My Sons", Ben in "The Little Foxes", Dovetail in
"Home is the Hero" and Joxer in "Juno and the Paycock".
Another great interest in Terry's life
was Carlow Arts Council of which he was Secretary for many years and
was on the Executive Committee up to the time of his death.
He was head of the Welfare Section of
Carlow Civil Defence and was on the Carlow Old People's Committee.
He was Chairman of Carlow branch of the Irish Local Government
Officials Union and was in charge of the Field Ambulance section of
the Local Defence Force during World War 11. He continued as
Lieutenant with the F.C.A. until 1954.
A large number of Carlow people,
representing all sections of the community travelled to Dublin on
Tuesday for the removal of the remains and on Wednesday for the
funeral to Glasnevin Cemetery.
Terry is survived by his wife, Nancy,
sons Fergus, Niall and Rory, sister and daughter-in-law.
by Seamus O'Rourke, Editor of The
Nationalist and Leinster Times.
Terry O'Morain is dead. The hard reality
of that simple fact shocks us and its significance will take a long
time to permeate to the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
Is it possible that he will never again
make us laugh and cry as he did so many, many times in his Little
Theatre roles. We are shocked at the thought.
Terry was part of us - a part of Carlow,
even though it was his adopted town, and a very large part of its
He was a man who dreamed and who brought
many of his dreams to life.
As a founder member of Carlow Little
Theatre Society he brought to Carlow people a love of the Theatre.
As a lifelong active member he also helped to bring the best of
Irish theatre and world theatre within the reach of us all.
One of his most cherished dreams was to
"play Shakespeare in the people's park" -- "the stage is there" he
would say "and Shakespeare was written for the people -- they will
love it if only they get the chance".
Terry O' Morain was a young man.
His fifty-five years rested lightly on
his shoulders, and when he spoke, particularly of the things he
loved, his enthusiasm fired everyone – even those who thought some
of his dreams outrageously ambitious.
This quality of youth was particularly
noticeable when he was among young people. Few people called him
mister for long. He became simply "Terry" - but in doing so lost no
dignity, but rather gained in stature and personal appeal.
For as long as I knew him I never heard
him deprecate or talk small of anyone. He was too big for that, too
understanding, too conscious that all have faults - and he would be
the very last to say that he himself was perfect.
Terry was a man who "got involved" in the
best sense of the word. When he joined something or started it, he
stuck with it all the way. Ask any of his friends in the many
societies of which he was a member, but above all in the Little
All will remember with the deepest
affection his loyalty and enthusiasm, his wit and kindliness and his
life-long dedication to the arts.
May the God of all love and beauty take
him to His heart; may He console his family who were so justly proud
of him and may his memory long be honoured by the people of Carlow
to whom he gave so much.
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