Since the death of Anthony Cronin on August 3rd I’ve got texts and emails about various aspects of his life. An outstanding theme of these is of the solid platform of friendship he provided to those he cared for.
Dependability is another of the traits that come through and his sheer decency. There have been examples of him providing hospitality in the Latin Quarter for people who found themselves without a bed for the night.
Wonderful Gift of Hospitality
This was borne out by a message from former Cordal resident, Richard Gallagher who wrote:
“He was, as you say, a great character with a razor wit. He was also blessed with a wonderful gift of hospitality.
When in the mid-eighties Evelyn and I were taking our first faltering steps into deepest Kerry we were welcomed and stayed more than once in his cosy town house, and when we decided to escape for the long haul the hustle and hassle of the big city he acted as our estate agent, financial adviser and all-round campaign strategist.
Acts of Spontaneous Generosity
Among other acts of spontaneous generosity, when in 1993 a couple of Spanish friends landed in the county unannounced and uninvited and with only vague notions as to our whereabouts they were pointed toward Anthony below in the Latin Quarter, where he brought them in and plied them with eating and drinking before driving them to our hideaway in the hills above Cordal.”
Denis Brosnan and Anthony Cronin – Neighbours and Friends
Denis Brosnan and Anthony Cronin knew each other as well as any two neighbours could. They shared a life long passion for athletics, they were among the founder members of An Ríocht Athletic Club and, to complete the Latin Quarter triangle, they socialised in Paddy Hussey’s Bar – which was only a handful of steps from their front doors.
Denis sent the following piece in tribute to his friend and neighbour:
“John, I concur with everything you wrote about Anthony – he was a great friend, always willing to help.
People who ran out of oil on Christmas morning he looked after them, even though he may have prefered to be elsewhere.
He willingly helped budding gardeners with advice and manure and shared the fruits of his own gardens with his neighbours and friends.
Parcel of Kale and Beetroot
You would often arrive home to a parcel of kale and beetroot at the doorstep!
One of his proudest nights was in a local hostelry in the early hours of the morning, when Connie Houlihan appointed him Guardian of the Latin Quarter as he said from his own door he could survey the boundaries and see everything was in order.
Anthony was known as a long distance man for many reasons.
On one occasion he was reported to have imbibed two and a half gallons, got up the following morning and won a Kerry cross-country race. Most people would be in bed for a few days after such an outing.
A Lap of Honour
He also did many marathons and his favourite poster was at the 20 mile mark which said “Remember if you win this, you’ll have to do a lap of honour!’
A big turning point in his life was when he met Teresa, fell in love and got married. He gradually changed his ways and it was a big change going to Banna on a Sunday (instead of the Pattern day in Knocknagoshel) and bringing home sea sand and seaweed for the compost heap in the garden.
They went on many holidays to the Canaries – when Teresa first mentioned the idea he said “I’d rather listen to some canary singing in Scart, that’s where I’d like to be!”
In Good Hands
Unfortunately in the last five years of his life, ill-health and sickness plagued him, but he never complained and his answer was always the same “I’m fine.” He was in good hands and well looked after.
Now he is resting in peace in Scartaglin with a wonderful view of the mountains he loved so well and looking out at Gleann Dha Fiach. On Sundays he will hear the music of the Beagles as they give chase, which to him was the sweetest sound of all. You choose your resting place well Anthony and it befits you.
Coladh sámh duit I measc na n-Aingeal.”
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