Saturday 1 October 2016

Una ran her shop for more than 60 years

Published 16/01/2013 | 09:45

The late Una McGuinness.
The late Una McGuinness.

Una McGuinness 1922 - 2012

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Una McGuinness (née O'Hagan) Lennon Melia Terrace, Dundalk who died peacefully in the Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda on December 22nd was a member of one of the town's oldest families and ran her own news agency and confectionery for over 60 years.

The only daughter of Johnny and Mary O'Hagan from Lisdoo, Una was surrounded by a household of boys, for she had seven brothers, two of whom, Fred and Johnny survive her.

Her family had deep roots in the Lisdoo area and many of her family worked in the old Dundalk Gas Company.

Indeed her father, Johnny was affectionately known as ' The Gas Man' by a generation of townspeople as he collected the coins from the gas meters in each home.

After her primary education, Una went to work in Dundalk Textiles until she inherited the house and shop at Lennon Melia Terrace from her grandmother.

She relished taking over the business and ran it like clockwork for over sixty years until she had a fall a few weeks before her death.

She therefore would be widely regarded as the town's longest serving shopkeeper and she had a great affinity with her customers, especially young people.

At one time Una made her own ice-lollipops from a special syrup and even when she had to be taken to the Lourdes Hospital after her fall she worried that her customers would get their right newspapers.

The shop was Una's life and she lived for it, and over the years she built up a great relationship with the town's wholesalers, and cash and carry outlets, going back to Hazlett's who operated from Distillery Lane.

Una's shop was opened seven days a week from 8.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m. and passed her time between customers watching TV, for she especially enjoyed the 'soaps' and ironically for a woman, cowboy films.

Her family are deeply grateful for the wonderful neighbours who looked out for Una especially in recent years, and they include her sister-in-law, Eileen and Paul and Bronagh Beggs who couldn't do enough for her.

Una will be remembered with great affection by very many people who frequented her little shop, and to her family she was an inspiration for the manner that she kept going despite the inherent risks involved in running a business today.

Una is survived by her brothers, Fred (Upper Merches) and Johnny (Lisdoo) and by nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.

She was predeceased by her brothers, Larry, Arthur, Tom. Frank, Seamus and Paddy who died in infancy.

Having reposed at her residence, Una's remains were taken to St. Nicholas Church where Requiem Mass was celebrated by Rev. G. Campbell, C.C., who gave the eulogy.

The Readings were given by Lisa and Orla O'Hagan and the Prayers of Intercession were led by Sarah Cairns, Bronagh Beggs, Mildred O'Hagan, and Laurence O'Hagan.

The beautiful music was provided by soloist, Susan Dixon and the organist was Brendan McCourt.

After Mass burial took place in St. Patrick's cemetery.

Month's Mind Mass will be held on Sunday, January 27th at 12 noon in St. Nicholas Church.

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