Michael Dan really made it in London
Published 13/11/2013 | 05:36
Michael Dan O'Sullivan (67), who passed away last on October 13, left West Kerry for the bright lights of London as a young emigrant and carved out an amazing career and a reputation as one of Kerry's leading lights in the world of commerce.
As a young man Michael - a carpenter by trade - began his career working on the building sites in London.
It wasn't long, however, before he began acquiring properties and restoring them for resale.
At one point he had in the region of 90 property portfolios in the British capital.
While very successful, Michael was always keen to help anyone from Dingle or West Kerry who arrived in London and he gave many of young emigrants 'the start' they needed.
An astute businessman, Michael was into buying apartments, restoring them, remodelling them and selling them on, especially in Cricklewood, Kilburn and the Neasden areas of North London.
Along with cultivating an immense property portfolio he also ran a very successful sun-bed business at a time when they were in huge demand in the 1970s.
At one stage he had in the region of 400 sun-beds in operation - before successfully selling that business on.
When Michael married Sally O'Malley, a native of Louisburg, Co Mayo, it was a true marriage of minds as she too harboured astute business acumen and together their empire went from strength to strength.
Michael was also involved in business in Ireland, owing hotels and properties all over the country.
So successful was the West Kerry man that at one stage he counted former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as a neighbour in Belgravia with Tony Blair becoming another noteworthy neighbour when Michael moved to the affluent area of Marble Arch.
His roots were very important to him and Michael was happiest in the Kerry stronghold of North London, moving back there and living happily for many years with Sally.
Despite his immense success, Michael never forgot where he came from and made the pilgrimage home to Dingle and Ballyhea at least once a year.
He maintained an interest in Dingle and how was the fishing and farming was going in the area. He was self-educated, had no third level schooling but is remembered by friends as a remarkable, and indeed very charming man.
Michael also had a great love of cars- and they were always top of the range. He started out driving Mercedes and Jaguars but when his Stg£200,000 Bentley was spotted driving around Dingle that really had everyone talking.
Michael took ill in recent times and passed away peacefully at St Luke's Hospice on October 13.
Many people from Dingle and West Kerry travelled to London to offer their condolences with many also travelling to services hosted in Clare and Mayo.
Michael is survived by his wife Sally, sons Daniel, Paul and Robbie, daughter Dawn, his grandchildren, brothers Ted and Paddy Joe, sisters Marie, Noreen and Ann, his extended family and many friends in Ireland and England.
A Month's Mind Mass in memory of Michael Dan O'Sullivan will be celebrated in St Mary's Church, Dingle this Friday, November 15, at 7.30pm.