The Late Michael Lyons
The death, on May 25, of Michael Lyons of Ballinacarrig will have
saddened a great many people around Carlow town. He was well known
locally for his gardening career, his days as a milkman and his youthful
Michael Lyons was born on the edge of the town, on the Dublin
Road, 94 years ago. In his early days, hurling was his team game of
choice. He won several medals with the famous Marble Hill Rovers club
from the Dublin Road. Michael was one of the last hugely successful team
of the 1930s who were a fore-runner of the Pearseís and Carlow Town
Swimming was another passion and Michael also distinguished
himself in the races from the town, along the Barrow and up to Knockbeg
As well as entering many cycling races, Michael was a regular
fixture at the top end of the running contests from Carlow to Tullow and
Carlow to Bagenalstown.
He married Mary Keighley from Boley House, Ballylinan 63 years ago
in Carlow Cathedral. They had two daughters; Breda and Pauline.
They raised their family in their home in Oak Park. That was where
Michael learned his craft for gardening. He was expertly taught by Tommy
Yeates, the Oak Park gardener. He also learned a lot from James Nugent
who worked in Ballylinan.
Michael did a milk round before he spent forty years as the
gardener in charge of St Patrickís College. Both of these jobs made him
a very recognisable face in Carlow town. As well as working the ground
of St Patís and making sure the 200 plus students there were kept in
fresh fruit and vegetables, Michael took care of the Bishopís ground and
thoroughly enjoyed working with his team of gardeners which included,
among other good friends, Michael and Noel Doyle.
Even after retiring out of Ballincarrig, Michael was still
absorbed by gardening. It was a passion he maintained until a few weeks
prior to his passing where he was to be found out on his immaculately
kept lawn digging holes and planting flowers and shrubs.
His signature flower was a big white rose with a fleck of colour.
Geraniums and dahlias also had pride of place in what was,
unquestionably, one of the most impressive gardens in Carlow.
Both Michael and Mary Lyons were quiet, private people and it was
their wish to have private funeral burial services. The family respected
that wish on May 19.
Michael Lyons beloved husband of the late Mary, is deeply
regretted by his loving daughters Breda and Pauline; son in law Michael,
sisters in law, grandchildren Denis, Michael, Sophia, Adriana, Jamie and
Daniel, great grandchildren, relatives and friends.
Courtesy of the Carlow Nationalist 3rd June 2005
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© 2001 County Carlow IGPTM