The Late Jack O’Connor of Marathon House, Castleisland and late of Barrack Street


The Late Jack O’Connor pictured in training for his 12th Dublin City Marathon in 1991. ©Photograph: John Reidy 14 -10-1991.
Jack O’Connor (front right) with fellow Castleisland Fire Brigade members from left: Moss Curtin, Seamus O’Connor, Donie Coffey, Fire Chief; Tony Nolan, Gene Brennan and Jack. In the trucks are from left: Thomas Brennan, TJ O’Connor, Mike Roche and Billy O’Connor. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-10-1991.
Members of the Castleisland guest list who travelled to Tipperary in August 1985 for the wedding of Jack O’Connor and Mary Kinnane pictured at the reception at Dundrum House Hotel. Front: Anne Courtney with Jack and Mary. Back from left: Seán Brennan, Denis Brosnan, Danny Broderick, Liam Courtney. Rita and Johnny O’Connor, Donie and Maureen Coffey, Moss Curtin, Maria and Seamus O’Connor. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-8-1985
A Castleisland group who travelled to Tipperary in August 1985 for the wedding of Jack O’Connor and Mary Kinnane pictured at the reception at Dundrum House Hotel. Front from left: Micheál Reidy, Anne Courtney, Con Brosnan, Cathleen Reidy and Rita O’Connor. Back from left: Batty O’Mahony, Seán Brennan, Denis Kerins, Danny Broderick, Denny O’Sullivan, Maureen Coffey, Johnny O’Connor, Donie Coffey and Liam Courtney. ©Photograph: John Reidy 15-8-1985

The death has occurred of Jack O’Connor of Marathon House, Knockananlig, Castleisland, Co. Kerry and late of Barrack Street, Castleisland.

Peacefully at home on January 14th 2021 in the loving care of his family.

Sadly missed by his loving wife Mary, his adored daughters Orla and Tara, his cherished grandsons Caden and Sean, son-in-law Conor, Orla’s partner Paudie, sister Peggy O’Grady, brothers Donal and James, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends. Also remembering his deceased sister Marie Kerins.

May His Gentle Soul Rest In Peace.

Paraffin Oil, Hurling and Pitch & Putt

Whenever I get the now rare whiff of paraffin oil I think of my mother starting the fire in the range, O’Callaghan’s Shop on Tralee Road and Jack O’Connor’s little hatchery at the back of the Garda Barracks and under the shadow of the Norman castle.

The late Jack O’Connor along with P.J. Luddy, RIP and Con Brosnan and myself used to go to the Desmonds GAA pitch on summer Sunday mornings in the mid 1970s to play hurling. I would call down to Barrack Street to meet jack and we’d walk to the pitch.

Day Old Chicks

But first we had to look after the newly hatched, day old chicks with food and water and the whiff off the paraffin oil lamps remains to this day.

Jack was an avid sportsman and while pitch and putt may have been his favourite, he loved the craic and banter that went along with the Sunday morning and summer evening hurling sessions.

We used to play highly entertaining games of 31 and drink tea in Gina McElligott’s and Luddy’s on College Road.

Dublin City Marathon

However, it was to the world of long distance running that Jack really applied himself and he created his own niche as one of a very few runners to have taken part in the first dozen runnings of the Dublin City Marathon.

You will have seen in his home address that ‘Marathon House’ was included. That in itself gives a fair indication of his dedication levels to one of the loneliest sports in the world.

Jack covered miles of local roads in preparation for his annual trial and took part in mini-marathons locally and found he had the stamina for which his father Jim was noted during his own youth.

Marathon House Wall Plaque

I had the honour of fixing the ‘Marathon House’ plaque to the wall of his house and, if I remember correctly, Jack hung up his marathon running shoes after that.

Jack gave years of service to the local fire brigade and it may well have been why he favoured pitch and putt. In those days the station siren would blare and the firemen of the time would down tools and run.

Many times we saw Jack taking off running and out over the back gate of the pitch and putt course and up through the field for the station on Tralee Road and later on in its current location on Church Street.

May God be good to him.

Private Family Funeral

A private family funeral will take place for Jack with his Requiem Mass on Saturday morning at 11am in Castleisland Parish Church followed by burial in St. John’s Cemetery, Castleisland.

The Mass will be live-streamed on

Family flowers only please. Donations if desired to the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

Please Note: The funeral cortège will depart his residence at 10.30 am on Saturday morning on en route to the church and will depart the church at 12 noon approximately and travel via the Fire Station, Barrack Street and the Main Street en route to the cemetery.

Date Published: Thursday 14th January 2021. Date of Death: Thursday 14th January 2021.

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