The late John Flanagan

Church of the Assumption was John Flanagan's “proudest achievement”

Although he made an immense contribution to shaping the town of Tullamore, the funeral Mass for the late John Flanagan was told this morning (Monday) that his proudest achievement as a builder was the construction of the iconic Church of the Assumption in 1984 following a devastating fire which destroyed the original structure.

Poignantly, it was in that same Church that the funeral Mass for the renowned builder, businessman and former politician took place, during which chief celebrant, Fr. Joe Gallagher, PP told the packed congregation that John Flanagan had taken “a deep and personal interest” in the building of the Church of the Assumption and had “watched over every detail” of the contruction project.

“Of course this church was far more than a construction challenge for John, who came to 10am Mass here every day, he was keen to build the house of God, and God was the foundation of the life he also built for himself” said Fr. Gallagher.

John Flanagan passed away on Ascension Thursday, May 9, at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore, and while Fr. Joe Gallagher said he had been “sick for a little while” and had been blessed with a long life of 93 years, he told the grieving Flanagan family that “we are never prepared for parting.”

During his funeral Mass, John Flanagan was described as someone who had lived “a long and remarkable life” and had achieved so much with the years he had been given. “Fr. Joe Gallagher referenced his many achievements as a builder, a businessman, a politician, a golfer, a community champion and also as a husband and father. He also recalled how he had been bereaved by his beloved wife, Kitty, who passed away 15 years ago, and also by his son, Enda, daughter Annette and by his brother Jim.

“He was a remarkable and esteemed man who had time for people and who respected others” said Fr. Gallagher “and many stories have been told over the past few days about how he helped people at critical times in their lives and they have never forgotten it."

In his homily, Fr. Gallagher also said the late John Flanagan had “a deep sense of the important things in life, and these were family, community and faith.”

The post-Communion reflection, a deeply moving and poignant poem by Victorian poet, Christina Rossetti, called 'Miss Me But Let Me Go' was read by one of John Flanagan's daughters, Kathryn.

The late John Flanagan was laid to rest in Clonminch Cemetery after his funeral Mass this morning, and he is sadly missed and always remembered by his loving family May, Rosaleen, Kathryn, John, Majella and Tony, daughters in law Lucy and Fiona, his adored grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours and many friends.

May he rest in peace.