Mike was a dedicated family man
MICHAEL Foley from Lisselton, a man with a sharp brain whose wide and varied interests ranged from the running of the country to the running of his farm, was always ready and willing to help a neighbour in need.
Michael was born 75 years ago on 19 December 1938, the first son of Tim and Cathy Foley. He joined his step brothers Jack and Joe, sisters Bridie, Kitty, Dolly, Peig and Joan and brothers Tim, Eamon and Dan. He was raised on the family farm and attended Lisselton National School where his teachers were Miss Dillon and Master Browne. After leaving school Mike worked with various farmers cutting turf, making hay and doing general repairs to houses and farm buildings in the community.
In the late 50s there was very little work in Ireland so he emigrated to England to find work in the construction industry where he worked alongside Thomas and Eamon Galvin, the Spillanes, Jack Foley and many others from Ballydonoghue parish. He returned to Glouria in the late 60s to take over the family farm, completely modernising it while also building a new family home.
He met his wife, Noreen, in the early 70s and they were married in 1975. They were blessed with two sons Tim and Michael and four daughters Eileen, Liz, Ann and Norma.
Mike was blessed with a gifted pair of hands and a sharp brain when it came to construction, woodwork and mechanics, often repairing his own cars and machinery. Testament to his skills is the stone and path-work he completed in Gale and Lisselton cemetery.
He was also a keen gardener, growing his own potatoes and vegetables and providing a supply all year round. An avid farmer, Mike had a keen interest in different breeds of cattle and would spend hours talking in the cattle stands at the local marts.
He had a great interest in fox and game hunting along with his brother Tim, his friends Johnny Kennelly, Tom O'Connor, and Tom McNamara, to name but a few. He also had an aviary where he kept birds such as canaries and finches.
Mike was a great neighbour and friend. If anyone needed help in the bog, meadow, with silage, repairing broken machinery or a problem on a building site it was a case of send for Mike Foley, and the help was always forthcoming.
He was a man who held strong views in the running of our country, and would not be impressed at the way it is run at the present time. Vigorous political debates were often heard from the Foley household!
He was also a passionate GAA supporter often attending matches locally and in Croke Park. In his youth he played underage football often reminiscing about being one of 17 players driven in the one car by the late Timmy Carr to play a match in Tarbert!
In recent years Mike mourned the loss of his sisters Bridie and Dolly and his brothers Dan, Eamon, Jack and Joe. Above all else he was a great family man, a loving husband to Noreen, a father to his six children, devoted brother, uncle, friend and in recent years doting grandfather to Jack, Ellie Mai, Maggie and recently baby Darragh, who was born on July 2 to Eileen and Mickey, and who Mike held in his arms the day before he passed away.
Mike's funeral mass was concelebrated by Fr John Lawlor, Ballydonoghue, Fr Brendan Walsh, Ballyduff/ Causeway and Fr Tim Dowling, New Jersey. To the singing of 'Raglan Road' by Stevie Donnegan and 'Baire Na Shraide' by Katie McNamarra Purcell, his remains were taken from Ballydonoghue church to his final resting place in Lisselton graveyard.
The Foley family would like to thank relatives, neighbours and friends who supported them during this difficult time. A special thanks is also extended to the district nurse, oncology and palliative care unit and nurses and doctors in Kerry General Hospital.