Eoin D Leavy from Mullaharlin Road who died on January 16 was the retired head of Leavy's Pharmacy, Dundalk’s longest established retail pharmacy business. The family pharmacy was opened and run by his late mother Rosalie in a building that was formerly owned by the Munster and Leinster Bank next door to the main post office in Clanbrassil Street where it remains and has been much expanded over the years.
Eoin’s mother was one of the first women to qualify as a pharmacist in the country in 1916, and was provided with a special pass to travel freely to her place of employment during the Rising. His father John engaged in a number of professions, one of which was dentistry.
Rosalie moved to Dundalk from Mountmellick to set up the business in 1931 that is now run by Eoin’s son Dermot, and his other son John looks after the optician's shop a couple of doors away.
Eoin followed in the footsteps of his mother and qualified as a pharmacist and also qualified as an optometrist. Eoin took over the management of the family business in the 1960s when his mother retired and continued in the role until he retired in 2005.
During that time he oversaw the growth of the business, branching into photography in which he had a big interest as well as skin care and cosmetics, which required a sizable extension to the building in which it is located and was the largest for a time in the country.
Due to his keen interest in photography Eoin travelled regularly to Cologne for the bi-annual Photokina trade fair to keep in touch with the latest developments in the photographic field, for the benefit of his business and many photography enthusiasts of that time. Along with Dermot he opened a second Pharmacy in the Longwalk Shopping Centre in 1994.
Eoin found time outside his busy work schedule to make a significant contribution to the local community.
In 1965, a branch of Rotary International was chartered in Dundalk and Eoin was the last remaining founding member. The object of the club is to foster the “ideal of service” and the dignifying by each Rotarian, of his occupation, as an opportunity to serve society.
He was president of the club from 1972-73 when he started meals on wheels with his fellow Rotarians. This service provided meals cooked by the Rotarians wives, to homes in Dundalk of the elderly and others who cannot fend for themselves. The Rotary club continue to provide this service to this day.
He was captain of Dundalk golf club in 1969 and served on the committee until 1977. He also was an honorary life member of the Knights of Columbanus.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Phil and children, Adrienne, Dermot, John, Hilary and Gillian, along with his grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brother Oliver, sister Aine, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends.
After reposing at his home, Eoin was removed on Thursday morning to St Fursey's Church, Haggardstown for Requiem Mass. On arrival fellow captains of Dundalk golf club formed a Guard of Honour as he was borne into the church, and members of the Rotary club provided a Guard of Honour as he was conveyed from the church for burial in the adjoining cemetery.
Father Padraig Keenan PP celebrated the Mass. The Readings were given by daughter, Hilary and Eoin’s eldest grandchild, Connor.
The Prayers of the Faithful were led by grandchildren, Finn, Myles, Donal, Eden and Mark.
The Offertory gifts were presented at the altar by grandchildren, Moya and Giovanni.
The beautiful music was provided by singer, Sarah McCourt and organist, Brendan McCourt.
Son Dermot and son-in-law Bryan shared personal recollections of Eoin the family man and businessman at a reception after the funeral ceremonies.