Abbey Native, Vincent Conroy, pictured above on the occasion of his 100th Birthday Celebration with his son Fr Pat Conroy PP Ballinakill/Derrybrien. Photo courtesy Connacht Tribune
Vincent Conroy, hail and hearty at the wonderful age of 100, now lives an independent life in Loughrea, Co Galway and keeps very much in touch with family, friends and all that is happening.
Below we have reproduced the full article that appeared in the Connacht Tribune following his Birthday celebration. This outlines the active and full life that Vincent lived right up to his retirement and indeed since then. We join with all Vincent’s friends in wishing him continued good health and happiness.
The following article appeared in the Connacht Tribune of Friday 18th March 2022, page 17
Loughrea centenarian marks 100th birthday with family gathering
A Loughrea native whose working life took him around Ireland and the UK before settling back into his home place, marked his milestone 100th birthday at the weekend with a party worthy of the occasion.
Vincent Conroy came back to his native place in 1988, and he continues to live independently; drives his car, and even cuts the grass around his home.
He also played golf up to recent years and had his regular outings to various establishments in Loughrea, Kilnadeema, Kylebrack and Abbey.
Vincent was born in Wellpark, Abbey, Loughrea on 6th March 1922, the second youngest in a family of 14 children to William Conroy, a native of Abbey and Mary Kate Fahy from Lissiniska, Ballinakill.
Vincent attended St Feichin’s NS in Abbey and afterwards went to work, repairing bicycles in Sheehy’s shop in Portumna.
That also brought him on his travel to various places – from Belfast to Limerick and Foxford, Co Mayo. He qualified as an accomplished motor mechanic and spent a number of years working with the Automobile Association, which involved riding a motorcycle from Galway to Athlone each day, assisting anyone with mechanical difficulties – and in those days that would have been a frequent occurrence in the early days of motor cars.
Like many of his generation, Vincent had to emigrate to England in 1956 where many of his older siblings had gone before him.
There he met his wife, Anne Keane, a native of Kilnaboy, Ennis, Co Clare. The couple married and had a son, Patrick, now the Parish Priest in Ballinakill/Derrybrien. Sadly Anne was struck down with illness and died very soon afterwards.
Vincent later met a German lady, Edith Willis whom he married. The couple spent a while in England before deciding in 1969 to return to Ireland where they established a garage, shop and service station in Rathconnell, Mullingar, Co Westmeath.
Vincent worked hard building up the business and was known as a gifted motor mechanic.
In 1988 Vincent decided to retire back near his native roots of East Galway: himself and Edith settling at Lake Road, Loughrea.
By this time, Patrick had been ordained as a priest in 1986 and was working as a curate in Loughrea Cathedral. He regularly took up the collection at Sunday mass in the Cathedral until Covid came two years ago.
Edith passed away in 2003, and Vincent continues to keep himself active, surrounded by many friends.
A party with family and friends was held in the Meadow Court Hotel last Sunday to mark his 100th birthday.
It began with a Mass of Thanksgiving, followed by a meal and the best of musical entertainment until well into the late evening with many accomplished musicians – including Vincent’s nieces Mary and Anne Conroy Burke and his companion from the 1950s Abbey Ceilí Band, Teresa Smullen.
When asked what the secret of his long life was, Vincent smiled and said: “I did everything a man shouldn’t do in life, but I have survived to tell the tale.” Vincent is wished every blessing and continued health into the future.