Billy Lowe, class '48
WHEN the College heard of the death of Billy Lowe the community, especially those who knew him as a fellow student in the College, were filled with a very real sense of loss. This feeling of loss we know was also felt by his contemporaries and friends. Billy was one of three brothers, the others being Brendan (1940-1944) and John (1944-1950) who were students in the College in the 1940s. Billy and his brother Brendan came to the College together in September 1940 and the present writer remembers them as the first boys he met on his own arrival in the College that year.
Billy was a well loved figure during his days in Castleknock. A fine athlete and Rugby player, he played on both the junior and senior cup teams and was on the team defeated in the 1948 Senior Cup Final. On leaving school Billy had a period of ill health. His courage, fortitude and cheerfulness at this time, was a source of the deepest admiration to all who visited him. On his recovery he returned to Carrick-on-Shannon where he joined the family business. There he became a well known figure in the locality, always loved and admired. His marriage led him to put his roots even deeper in Carrick as he devoted his time to the business and a growing family. When illness once again was his lot and he knew that this time the illness was very serious Billy's courage and faith did not desert him. When death finally came it was for Billy like a passing to the other side, but the loss occasioned by his passing was enormous. To all his family especially his three sons, Edmund, Liam and Peter now presently pupils in Castleknock the College extends its deepest sympathy. May he rest in peace.
THE LATE BILLY LOWE
Since his death last week, following a long illness, many tributes, have been paid to the late Billy Lowe, of Hollywell and Bridge St., Carrick on Shannon, none more eloquent or fitting than those expressed by Rev. Father Frank McGauran in St. Mary's Church at the removal service and Father Michael Rigney, C.C., during the Mass preceding the funeral to St. Mary's cemetery.
To those who knew him, or came in contact with him, over a quarter century of his adult life, Billy Lowe was a man of many parts. In business or leisure, he was friendly and unassuming to a fault. A promising sportsman in his teens, he played Minor football with Carrick G.A.A. 'till a prolonged stay in hospital forced him to abandon thought of an active sporting life. In time, after his return home from Cappagh Hospital in the early 50's, he resumed his interest in the social and sporting life of his home town. He took a keen interest in the affairs of St Mary's G.A.A. Club, in turn acting as club official. selector, and referee of exceptional ability. He was also a staunch member of St. Mary's Church Choir, for many years, and was attached to the Town's Musical Society, which, in conjunction with the Breffni Players took part in the Percy French Commemorative concerts, staged at Clooneyquinn. in 1957 and 1958. In latter years Billy devoted his time to the family business, and to his home, keenly aware of the sporting interests of sons Fergus, Liam and Eddie.
Many of his friends, school-pals, and acquaintances long departed the Carrick scene, returned on Sunday last to pay their fast respects to Billy, including a former schoolmate at Castleknock College, former Minister for Justice; Mr Paddy Cooney. Another familiar and well loved figure in the community has passed on, a man who loved his native town, almost as much as he loved home and family. Billy Lowe will be missed, sorely missed.
May he rest in Peace.
DEATH OF MR. BILLY LOWE
The death took place at his residence, Bridge St., Carrick-on-Shannon on Friday of last week, of Mr William (Billy) Lowe. Aged 48, the deceased had been in failing health for some time. He had undergone a serious operation in October of last year and had been ill since January.
The late Billy Lowe was second eldest son of Mrs. Delia Lowe and the late John Lowe, Hollywell, Carrick on Shannon. Having received his early education at the Marist Convent and Presentation Brothers he then went to Castleknock College, Dublin for his secondary education. There his class-mates included Senator Patrick Cooney, the former Minister for Justice who attended the funeral on Sunday together with a number of other former fellow students.
After finishing school he then returned to the family business where his acumen and enthusiasm resulted in growth and expansion. As well as managing the family farms, the late Billy also became manager of the Grocery Department and having a keen interest in gardening, he established a Gardening Centre which was much appreciated by enthusiasts of this hobby.
In 1960 the late Billy married Ethna Gay, daughter of Mrs. Bridget Gray and the late Joe Gray, Ballindoon, Boyle, and the pair were blessed with five children: Fergus, Catherine, Edmund, Liam, and Peter. In 1970 Ethna died to the great sorrow of Billy and his family. Four years later he married the former Teresa Hayden, daughter of Mr. Frank Hayden and the late Mrs. Elizabeth Hayden. Tullyleague, Carrick on Shannon, and that marriage was blessed with one child, Philip.
During his long and severe illness Billy was cared for by his devoted and loving wife Teresa. Her vigilance and attention to her husband's every need is truly commendable and no doubt she found great consolation in the Lowe, Gray and Hayden families, while waiting for the inevitable.
While a young man the late Billy was a keen sportsman. Having played Gaelic football for many years he was also a founder member of the first ever Rugby Club in the area. He also took an active interest in the Social life of the town and was a former member of the Church Choir, Carrick Musical Society and took part in a Percy French Celebrity Concert at Clooneyquinn many years ago. Billy was also interested in drama and performed with the Breffni Players.
In years to come Billy Lowe will be remembered as a devoted family man. He instilled in his children a love for sport and was present when and where it mattered to cheer them on and lend the vital encouragement which children need. His absence will indeed be conspicuous wherever youngsters gather for sport for some time. Organisations such as the local G.A.A. Club, Community Games Committee and Swimming Club will sorely miss his ever available services.
Carrick on Shannon's main thoroughfares were thronged on Saturday evening for the removal of deceased's remains from his residence to St. Mary's Church where they were received by Very Rev. Canon C. Ryan, P.P.. Mass was then celebrated by Rev. Fr. Frank McGauran, C.C. Kilteevan, Co. Roscommon (a cousin of the deceased). Sunday's funeral following Mass of the Resurrection, celebrated by Fr. McGauran and assisted by Fr. Rigney, was one of the biggest seen in the area for some time. Rev. Fr. Faughnan and Canon Ryan performed the graveside obsequies,
Among the mourners at the graveside were the deceased's wife: Teresa. his children; brothers; Brendan and John, members of the Gray and Hayden families, and numerous other relatives. The deceased's sister; Mrs. Catherine Domegan who is residing in Canada was unable to be present at the funeral. She had made the journey in February especially to see her brother.
At Carrick-on-Shannon Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday night, sympathy was expressed with the Lowe family on the death of Billy. Meetings of the Fianna Fail, M.J. McManus Cumann and the Fine Gael, Carrick District were both cancelled as a mark of respect to late Billy Lowe.
Our sincere sympathy to all concerned in this untimely and sad bereavement.
Leitrim Observer, May 13th 1978