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In memory of Mickey Maguire

MIckey Maguire Funeral leaflet Large Web view

Michael was born in Halls Mill, Laurencetown on the 25th February 1935.

Son of Paddy and Mary Maguire, Brother of Jim, Kathleen, Mary and Nora.

He attended the local Bann Primary School, leaving when he was 13 to work as an apprentice painter. He worked in Gilford Mill and finished his career as a Graphic Designer in the Metal Box in Portadown.

As a teenager he spent two years in Downpatrick, with TB. The longest period he ever remained absent from his home.

He was always a cross community man through and through-playing cricket on Saturday and Gaelic on a Sunday.

His first love was always cricket. He played cricket throughout his youth, almost daily during the summer’s months for Millpark, bowling his last ball when he was a mere fifty.

He won the Down 1960? County Championship in football with a combined team of players from Tullylish, Banbridge and Aghaderg.

He fly fished the River Bann and many lakes across Ireland.

The highlight of his fishing career was notably in 1968, when he caught one of the largest specimen sharks in Ireland of the coast of Dungarvan, at over 9 Ft long.

Michael met his wife Myrtle Murphy in 1958 at a local dance. They were married in the Clare Chapel. He was totally devoted to her and they were married for fifty seven happy years living in Millar Park.

In recent years he became Myrtle’s carer as her memory fades. His only concern in his last weeks, was for her welfare in her future years.

They have one son, an Architect living in Dublin, Gareth who is married to Aoife.

He also has two grandsons, Tom and Jack Maguire, both of whom have inherited his sporting and artistic skills.

Michael was best known locally for his generous creativity.

He was a local artist who, in his later years, held local art classes to pass on his skills and knowledge. He had no problem ‘helping’ the budding artists complete their projects! Over the last couple of years, his wife Myrtle came to the art group with him and it was so lovely to see their relationship – no words were needed, just their gentle presence together spoke volumes. His paintings now decorate many of our local houses and are treasured possessions within the community.

However he was best known and remembered as a great photographer.

His work has been recognised across Ireland and beyond. He was a fellow of both the Royal and Irish Photographic Associations. He was a dedicated member and past chairman of Banbridge Camera Club.

He was known across national photographic circles as a master landscape photographer.

His photographs of local places have been exhibited internationally in places as far away as Argentina. In 1975 he won £ 5,000 (the price of a house then) for a single photograph, on the theme of memory.

Mickey’s presence will be visible in Tullylish for many years to come as it was he who designed the banner on our parish website and the slate at the entrance to the Den. Many of his prize photographs are on our website for the entire world to see. He produced fabulous slideshows of his work in the Den and was an active member of Tullylish Historical Society.

But above all, Mickey was the most humble human being with a distinct twinkle in his eye and a very dry sense of humour. You just had to ask him “how’s everyone in Dublin?” and his eyes lit up as he recounted the various antics of his precious grandsons Tom and Jack.


Standing on the platform
I wait,
for the Northern train to arrive.
Travelling towards
an older past;
towards a much closer future.
I now begin to understand,
our ends
and our beginnings.
Never sought,
nor ever found.
My father’s house,
now insured against major loss,
except for this.
Already fully empty.
Unfamiliar traces now surround,
a life well made.
A mother, lost in an unfamiliar waiting room
for an appointment that will never come.
Her memories flicker like butterfly wings,
lapping waves chained on an unfamiliar shore.
Disappearing before arriving, and gone.
Not knowing what we have lost.
We all wait at different platforms now.
My father stands close by -
I can almost hear his voice.
He waits.
for his end journey to begin.
He will now become my future memories.
Fifty years distilled,
strong stuff indeed for a tee-total life.
Never a mere photograph on the mantel piece,
But always a kind hand placed upon my shoulder.

For my parents





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