Fond farewells in Kerry for the late Josie O’ Sullivan

Date Published : October 15th, 2016    Published By : admin

‘I remember attending the scene of one accident when I had to use a hacksaw to free someone for a vehicle’. Josie O' Sullivan on his retirement.

Firefighters in County Kerry are preparing to say their final and fond farewell to the late Josie O’ Sullivan who passed away peacefully yesterday, Friday 14th October.

FF O’ Sullivan retired from Killorglin Fire Service in 1999, after serving 25 years with Kerry Fire Service. Josie’s father John was one of the founding members of Killorglin Fire Service, and with firefighting blood in his body, Josie took up an interest in his local fire service at a very young age.

The late retired FF Josie O' Sullivan

One of his first jobs in the brigade was as a ‘runner’, during the time the fire service was still operating on a voluntary capacity. A ‘runner’ would alert other firefighters to a call. Firefighters in Killorglin recalled ‘If there was a fire in the town someone went to Josie's house to inform his Dad and Josie's job was to run to each of the volunteers houses and tell them there was a fire’.

A welder/fitter by trade, Josie gave an interview to the local press in Kerry on his retirement in 1999 and said he was looking forward to living a ‘normal’ life without his pager.

‘I enjoyed every minute of it. Back 25 years ago, the equipment we had was nothing like what we have today. I remember attending the scene of one accident when I had to use a hacksaw to free someone for a vehicle. The cutting equipment they have in Killorglin today is second to none. You would have to go as far as Dublin to find better’.

Archive: Interview with Josie O' Sullivan on his retirement
Pic: Killorglin Fire Service facebook page

Mr. O’ Sullivan recalled that being on-call did have its disadvantages. “You couldn’t socialise properly or plan many things with your family. Being a fireman is a great job. It’s very daring and you must think quick. You literally have to risk your life for the job’ he said.

After retiring in 1999, he says he could now have a taste of what ‘normal’ life is like and not worry about his pager going off. “The lads in the fire service in Kerry were great to work with” and on his retirement, Josie congratulated them all on the great work they do.

(Photo from 1982 crew in the new station)
Timmy Corkery, John Sheehen, Teddy O Connor, Connie Leen, Paul McMahon, Josie O Sullivan and Vince Corkery.

Pic: Killorglin Fire Service facebook page

Funeral Arrangements:

Reposing at Flynn's Funeral Home, Killorglin, on Sun.16th Oct. from 4.30pm to 6.30pm, followed by removal to St. James' Church, Killorglin, arriving at 7pm. Requiem Mass on Mon. 17th Oct. at 10.30am with burial in Dromavalla Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

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