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Sean Brosnan: an appreciation

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Sean Brosnan

Sean Brosnan

Sean Brosnan

The late Sean Brosnan was a legend on the mart scene in Kerry. He was a man who had the ability to make things happen.

It was under his stewardship that Castle Island mart was revived in the late 1960s and he stayed at its helm until the early 1980s.

Then in 1982, Sean opened a mart at Gortatlea on a greenfield site barely four miles from his former employers.

The opening of Gortatlea brought to 12 the number of marts then operating in Kerry.

It was a very tough challenge, made even more difficult by the fact that the following year saw a meltdown in cattle prices.

Sean himself said: "Any good man is half mad". Indeed they may be, but there was plenty of method in Sean's approach to life and business.

And despite the general economic gloom in the country at the time, Sean made Gortatlea a thriving centre for the trade in Kerry.

Away from the mart, Sean's rock was Imelda, the women who supported him and gave him five beautiful daughters.

She shared with him not only his vision of how a local mart should operate for the benefit of the entire community, but also his love of good food, dancing and country music.

Sean's sporting passion was rugby, something he shared with another famed son of that part of the Kingdom, the writer Con Houlihan.

At 6' 4, Sean was, like Con, a giant of a man and he personified in his business life the drive that has seen Kerry football teams bring so much honour to every corner of their county.

Sean's spirit of goodwill and achievements will endure not only in his family, but among all those who knew him. Sean passed the responsibility for the running of Gortatlea to his nephew Maurice in 2014, and it continues today to be everything and more than he dreamed of in 1982.

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