Born in 1817 at Limerick, Anthony Joseph O’Loughlin immigrated to Canada with his wife Rebecca Hyles from Limerick, Ireland, shortly after their marriage in 1854. They lived in Montreal for two years, then moved to Kingston, where Mr. O’Loughlin engaged in his trade as a highly skilled cabinetmaker. In 1858 he served as alderman for Rideau ward in Kingston. In October of 1863 he was appointed headmaster of Johnston Street School and taught there until the end of the year.
In the early days of the congregation of St. James, Kingston, during the late 1850’s, services were held in his shop. It was while he was working on the reredos of Saint Peter’s Church (now part of the parish of Saint Lawrence) in Brockville that the incumbent minister Dr. Lewis, later Bishop of Ontario, persuaded him to take holy orders. Fr. O’Loughlin was ordained in Kingston in December 1863 by the Bishop of Ontario, and licensed for the mission of Finch. Shortly afterwards he was appointed at his own request to Loughboro and Storrington mission, where he would be near his old home in Kingston.
The Rev. F. A. Cook tells the story of how he came to North Gower. In the early days of the Anglican Church in Canada it was customary to hold in each parish what was popularly known as ‘the missionary meeting’. One such meeting was held on January 1st 1872 in the parish of North Gower-Wellington (now Kars), the visitor being Fr. O’Loughlin. Fr. Cook recounts that “so strong was the impression made by him that in August of the same year he was invited by the North Gower end of the parish to preach in their church, with the result that steps were at once taken to secure him as incumbent for this then vacant parish.” Thus Fr. O’Loughlin became Priest of the Parish of North Gower in the Diocese of Ontario [in 1896, after the death of Fr. O’Loughlin, the Parish of North Gower became part of the Diocese of Ottawa]. He was evidently very well received, for when he held his meetings in North Gower the fences for long distances were lined with the horses of farmers’ families who had come to hear him preach.
In 1873 Manotick was very much an outpost. Fr. O’Loughlin was meeting with his “unshepherded flock from the north” on Sunday afternoons in the First Line schoolhouse four miles north of Kars. He recognized the need for a church in Manotick, and the opportunity arose in 1875 when a prominent citizen, Mr. Moss Kent Dickinson, deeded a parcel of land in Manotick to the Diocese of Ontario. Thus the Church of Saint James the Apostle, Manotick, was brought into being. The church was built in 1876, and the first service was held in February 1877. Fr. O’Loughlin did more than just preside. A cabinetmaker by trade, he set the example by building the first lectern and prayer desk to be placed in the chancel.
When on 19 September 1884 the Rev. Fr. O’Loughlin died at the age of 67 the whole community of all denominations paid him the greatest respect. The newspapers in the district, indeed many across Canada, carried his obituary.
“North Gower, September 19th: (Special) All that was mortal of the late lamented Rev. A. J. O’Loughlin, the well known and dearly beloved Church of England Minister here, was today consigned to the last resting place. Throughout the township people of all denominations entertained the highest esteem for the deceased, and consequently the cortege of mourning friends that paid their last respects to the memory of the deceased by following the remains to the grave today was the longest that has ever been seen in the township…. Today three magnificent monuments, in the shape of churches, that will perpetuate the memory of the deceased, are erected in different parts of the township and the number of parishioners is very large. The deceased laboured unceasingly day after day in the Lord’s vineyard. He established and presided over churches at North Gower, Wellington [now Kars] and Manotick, filling three different pulpits every Sunday…. The numerous friends of the deceased throughout the county of Carleton deeply regret his demise, – ‘Requiescat in pace’.”
Eamonn travelled from Ennistymon to Canada and became heavily involved in fostering Irish Canadian Business, Irish culture, music and sport.
He was Executive Director of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce and well known in the Irish Community in Toronto, where he served as Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2012.
He was named Canada’s Irish person of the year in 2009. Through his Saturday morning radio show “Ceol agus Craic”, he promoted Irish music and the GAA.
He graduated from University College Cork with a Batchelor of Commerce and had a marketing career with Hallmark Cards before setting up his own marketing and communications consulting business.
The first annual memorial golf tournament in Eamonn’s honour was held in September 2013.
Eamonn O’Loghlin, 1951-2013 – Legend and Dear Friend:
Biography kindly donated by Oliver O’Connell, Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland.
We are at a time now in Ireland when we are so short of heroes, We have no one it seems to inspire us, to motivate us, to make us laugh, to make us feel good about ourselves. When Eamonn O’Loghlin passed away he took from us more than his friendship, he took away a piece of ourselves as we were at our best in his company. He brought out the true Irish in everyone, He even managed to bring the Irish out in complete strangers, people who had never set foot in Ireland, when in Eamonn’s company they were as Irish as Paidin Mhic Thomais O’Flathertaigh from Carraroe in Connemara.
Eamon’s life was a tapestry woven from a love of his Family, Country, his home town of Ennistymon, his love of music and songs, his love of Irish Culture, Heritage His love of Canada, America and his love of people, and into that mix he liked a pint and he loved to party.
Eamon was born in Ennistymon in North Clare and in the 1960’s and 1970’s before he emigrated to Canada. Ennistymon was a peculiar little town, there was very little employment, life could be tough going, It was a market town where on a Saturday, there would be pigs for sale, cattle, vegetables, turf, geese, hens, jam, butter, anything that would generate revenue for the vendor.
Eamon’s father Charles O’Loghlin owned a drapery shop in the town and he was an austere, old school type businessman, tough disciplinarian and on more than one occasion, it is safe to say that Eamon proved a challenge for him, as Eamon loved to hang out with the local characters who most of the time were up to no good, but Eamon revelled in their company.
Being able to play the piano was no bad thing for Eamon at that time, in his pursuit of craic and while he was no Liberace on the Piano and he did not have the massive rings and flamboyant clothes of Liberace, he could certainly capture a crowd and hold their attention.
He left an indelible mark on life in Ennistymon in the 60’s and 70’s. He also captured Lahinch where he played in a group called the “Beach Boys” with Gussy Hayes (They stole the name from the American Beach Boys) but as far as Eamon was concerned, The Lahinch Beach Boys were the real deal. He left a mark in Lisdoonvarna during the matchmaking festival and there are stories about him that cannot be printed but would make a great movie. and during his college years in St Flannans in Ennis and Cork, they still to this day shudder, when his name is mentioned.
His motto seemed to have been very simple “enjoy life” and he certainly lived by that motto. He had a very distinctive laugh, you would hear the laugh before you saw him. I said to him one time, that his laugh was like a hyena giving birth, but the fast response came back to me immediately, “No Ollie it’s more like a Hyena having sex” and then we heard the laugh again, and everybody within hearing distance laughed with us.
When we would meet at the conventions in America, He would spend a lot of time recalling the characters from Ennistymon in his childhood, he never let go of those times. He loved the carefree way of life in Ireland fifty years ago.
He hated what happened to Ireland in the last decade when greed took over and a small number of people in prominent positions bankrupted the Country and forced thousands of young people to emigrate. He hated that and he was vocal in his condemnation of them.
Eamon was true to his beliefs at all times and even though he was the life and soul of any gathering and was up for anything that would generate laughter, there was also a very sincere side to the man, and it would do him an injustice, if we only remembered the funny Eamon.
When I was very sick in 2011, Eamon was extremely worried about me, and I would get phone calls late at night from Toronto, inquiring about my health and when I met him in St. Louis at the convention in 2012, he was so delighted to see me and to know that I was well again. I will remember him for that.
He was a kind generous, good natured human being and we are a poorer race for his passing. His legacy and his memory will live forever in the minds and hearts of those who love Ireland. And everywhere Irish music will be played and wherever true Irish men and women will congregate, the air will be sprinkled with the spirit and the love of the man who epitomised Ireland at its best, The man from Ennistymon in Co. Clare. Eamon, my dear Friend We all love you.
O Donohue John (1956-2008): A Mystic for our Times, an article by Katharine Lochnan – now listed under People Ireland