The death took place on 7 January 2020 of Sean Cahalane at his home at Gorteenlomane, Skibbereen.
Sean, who had been ill for only a few weeks, died, we believe, as he would have wished, at his home, surrounded by his loving family, and right to the end he maintained his peaceful and dignified demeanor, traits he displayed throughout his long life.
To paraphrase Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa who once said that he was an Irish man since he was born, Sean Cahalane was a Skibbereen man since he was born. A native of Smorane, as a young man he took over the home farm and managed the land there until he retired from farming some years ago when he moved with his family the few miles to Gorteenalomane, just south of Skibbereen town.
Sean was a quiet, unassuming man with an easy-going disposition. In the book That They May Face the Rising Sun by Irish author John McGahern, one of the main characters Jamsie, said: ‘I’ve never, never moved from here and I know the whole world.’ That could certainly be said of Sean Cahalane. He lived all his life in Skibbereen, but he knew the world. He was a highly intelligent, cultured man, well-read and in particular had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Skibbereen, its history and its people.
A very active man right up to the time of his illness, Sean was a familiar figure walking with his dog or cycling near his home. Those of us who went to Tralispean would regularly see Sean enjoying a chat with locals or visitors, the best of company and never in a rush.
He had a great appreciation of his surroundings, the land, the countryside, nature, and when one met Sean in latter years, out walking his dog or cycling, you could sense that he was a man at ease with the world and comfortable and happy in his contentment.
Requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Friday 10 January was celebrated by Fr Michael Kelleher, Adm., Skibbereen and Rath. Sean was a wonderful family man, husband, father, grandfather and it was particularly appropriate that members of his family fully participated in the obsequies. In a eulogy Joanne paid a beautiful tribute to her father and said how proud he was of the achievements, big and small, of his children and grandchildren.
Sean was predeceased by his infant daughter Mary and his sister Helen McCarthy (Dublin). He is survived by his wife Maura, children Majella, Joanne, Orla, Ailbhe, Eavan, Doireann, Cillian, grandchildren Art and Eliza Molloy, Sean and Ava Oliphant and Darragh Corcoran, daughter-in-law Fidelma, sons-in-law Noel, Richard and Garry, his extended family, friends and neighbours.
At a specially convened meeting of Skibbereen & District Historical Society on Friday 10 January 2020, a vote of sympathy was passed to the Cahalane family of Gorteenalomane, Skibbereen, on the death of Sean.
Our deepest sympathy goes especially to Maura, chairperson of Skibbereen & District Historical Society, on her great loss.